Characterisation of dichelobacter nodosus on misshapen and damaged ovine feet: a longitudinal study of four UK sheep flocks

Best, C.M., Roden, J., Phillips, K., Pyatt, A.Z., Cogan, T., Grogono-Thomas, R. and Behnke, M.C. (2021) Characterisation of dichelobacter nodosus on misshapen and damaged ovine feet: a longitudinal study of four UK sheep flocks. Animals, 11 (5).

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Abstract

Dichelobacter nodosus is the causal agent of ovine footrot, a contagious disease of welfare and economic concern worldwide. Damaged feet may be subclinical carriers of D. nodosus and covertly spread infection. Accordingly, we evaluated the risk of misshapen and damaged feet on D. nodosus presence and load in four commercial UK sheep flocks. Foot-level observations and swabs (n = 972) were collected from ewes (n = 85) over 12 months. On average, ewes were sampled three times. Feet were inspected for disease and scored (good/poor) for three hoof conformation traits (sole and heel, wall, and wall overgrowth). Swabs were analysed for presence and load of D. nodosus, and mixed models were constructed. Poor hoof conformation traits were present in 92.5% of foot-level observations. Feet with poor sole and heel conformation were more likely to have higher D. nodosus loads (β = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.04–0.35) than those with good conformation. Furthermore, on feet positive for D. nodosus, wall overgrowth was associated with higher D. nodosus loads (β = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.01–0.52). Feet with aspects of poor conformation covertly harbour D. nodosus and are a source of infection. Flock management should be guided by hoof conformation to reduce disease challenge.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Dichelobacter nodosus, footrot, sheep, subclinical carriers, hoof conformation, infection, disease challenge
Divisions: Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Harper
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2021 15:35
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 11:29
URI: https://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17703

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