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Vet Microbiol. 1998 Feb 28;60(2-4):285-92.

The frequent detection of a treponeme in bovine digital dermatitis by immunocytochemistry and polymerase chain reaction.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, Liverpool University, Leahurst, Neston, South Wirral, UK.


A study was carried out to determine whether spirochaetes are frequently associated with digital dermatitis in United Kingdom (UK) dairy cattle. Histopathological examination of lesions using a silver stain showed a large number of unidentified spirochaete-like organisms present in digital dermatitis hoof skin tissue in all examined biopsies. Immunocytochemical staining demonstrated that spirochaetes in skin lesions were identified by polyclonal antisera to Borrelia burgdorferi, Treponema denticola and Treponema vincentii (again all biopsies were positively stained), whereas monoclonal antibodies to B. burgdorferi and any Treponema pallidum did not stain any organisms in all biopsies. A PCR of 16S rRNA, previously shown to be specific for a new treponeme, was employed and produced positive results from 82.4% of digital dermatitis tissues. It is concluded that this spirochaete (or related spirochaetes), which is similar to human oral treponemes, is frequently associated with, and may be responsible for, pathological changes in digital dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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