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The present study reports on the location of major foci of footrot in goats in the Extremadura region of Spain by the determination of locally occurring strictly anaerobic microorganisms involved in the pathogenesis and development of this disease. The most commonly isolated microorganisms belonged to the genera Dichelobacter, Fusobacterium, Porphyromonas and Prevotella; these were found in conjunction with other species of minor importance. The species most frequently isolated were Fusobacterium necrophorum (40%), Dichelobacter nodosus (31.7%), Porphyromonas asaccharolytica (21.1%) and Prevotella melaninogenica (12.9%). Virulence factors identified in the isolated microorganisms included haemolysins, elastases and lecithinases, which enabled the organisms involved to initiate and/or aggravate the disease. Serotyping was performed for Dichelobacter nodosus isolates, since this species is responsible for triggering the process of infection. A and C were the most frequently isolated serovarieties (representing 40.7% and 25.9% of the cases, respectively).

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The in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Gram-negative anaerobic bacilli commonly isolated from footrot in goats was studied. A total of 97 isolates belonging to the genera Dichelobacter, Fusobacterium, Prevotella, Porphyromonas and Bacteroides, obtained from clinical cases of footrot in south-western Spain between March 2000 and May 2001, were tested against 25 antimicrobial agents comprising β-lactams, aminoglycosides, macrolides, chloramphenicol, quinolones, lincosamides, sulphonamides and tetracyclines in order to optimise antibiotic treatment of this disease in goats. β-lactams, tetracyclines and metronidazole displayed the highest in vitro efficacy against the species involved in the pathogenesis of footrot.

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The aim of this study was to compare four identification procedures to detect Dichelobacter nodosus and develop a rapid, simple and effective method to identify D. nodosus strains isolated from cases of ovine footrot. The four methods used were: (a) the classic guidelines set down by Holdeman et al. (1977) and Summanen et al. (1993) which are based on gas liquid chromatography (GLC) and different biochemical tests, this method was considered as landmark; (b) Baron and Citron's flowchart for the rapid identification of Gram-negative rod-shaped anaerobes (1997); (c) the API rapid 32 A system (bio Mérieux), and (d) Mast ID™ Anaerobe ID Ring (MID8) (Mast Diagnostics). None of the four methods used allowed us to correctly identify the D. nodosus strains (neither the strains isolated from cases of ovine footrot nor those originating from type collection). Because of the difficulties encountered in obtaining a correct identification of D. nodosus, we propose a simple, rapid and effective way to achieve this task. Our flowchart will provide the means to identify this microorganism in any laboratory of general microbiology without having to use any specialised equipment.

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This research consists of an evaluation of the effectiveness of different substances administered as adjuvants in the stimulation of humoral immune response induced by the vaccine composed of strains A1, A2 and C of Dichelobacter nodosus. To do this, a total of 120 Merino sheep were vaccinated and revaccinated. These sheep were selected from a farm located in the region of Extremadura (Spain), and they were divided into 12 groups of 10 animals each. An additional group with 10 sheep was used as control. The immune response (titre of antibodies) was determined by agglutination tests and ELISA. The most pronounced immune response was obtained by the use of Freund's incomplete adjuvant and aluminium hydroxide as adjuvants.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: S. Píriz, T. Pobel, Ruth Jiménez, E. M. Mateos, P. Martín-Palomino, Pilar Vila and S. Vadillo

A microbiological study of 25 cases of ovine footrot was performed. Cultures belonging to Dichelobacter nodosus were isolated in 48% of the sampled animals. The sensitivity of the 99 strict anaerobic bacterial isolates to 5 antibiotics (penicillin G, amoxycillin, spiramycin, erythromycin and oxytetracycline) was studied. The percentage of resistant cultures was in all cases higher than 30%. The efficacy of erythromycin and oxytetracycline in the treatment of ovine footrot was studied. To conduct this test, an intramuscular injection was applied, of one antimicrobial or the other, at the beginning of the treatment. The tolerance of animals to the antimicrobials, the success rate of treatment and the severity of lameness were evaluated. The percentage of animals cured within 15 days was around 75%. In contrast, only 44% improvement was achieved in the lameness. No differences were found between the two antimicrobials in the above indices.

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