Researchers from the University of Liverpool (Department of Infection Biology, Institute of Infection & Global Health and School of Veterinary Science), have produced a poster entitled “Understanding the aetiology and infection reservoirs of digital dermatitis in beef cattle and sheep”.
As part of their work, they cultured treponemes in a Whitley A35 Anaerobic Workstation.
Digital dermatitis (DD) is an infectious hoof disease causing severe lameness in ruminants worldwide. The primary cause has been identified as the spirochaetal bacteria, treponemes. A comprehensive bacterial molecular survey of sheep contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) lesions has not been done to determine if there is a shared etiopathogenesis between BDD and CODD. Also, there have been only anecdotal reports of BDD lesions occurring in beef cattle, with no definitive published data on the disease. Additionally, little is known about the transmission of Treponema bacteria. It may be possible that DD treponemes are carried in both cattle and sheep gastrointestinal (GI) tracts and then shed in faeces and spread. Another route of transmission may be via farm equipment.
This study investigated ruminant GI tissues and farm equipment for the presence of DD treponemes. Additionally, sheep and beef DD lesions were analysed for the presence of DD treponemes by PCR and culture techniques.