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Footrot research update from the University of Sydney (2018-2021)

Om Dhungyel, Richard Whittington, Andrew McPherson and Karen Smith, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney

Posted Flock & Herd September 2021

The University of Sydney continues to offer a referral service and laboratory diagnostic service for footrot. This is quite a busy service assisting field veterinarians and farmers in the southern states.

Completed research projects

Please visit www.footrotsydney.org

This is a fully illustrated, detailed, technically-focussed website covering all aspects of footrot from clinical presentation on farm through to explaining how the various laboratory tests work. It deals with the complex issues of diagnosis as well as treatment, control and prevention. The information provided is evidence-based and draws on decades of research at the University of Sydney. It is intended to keep the website up to date and to include case studies which are both educational and add to the repository of knowledge.

There are three ongoing projects in which results are still being collected and evaluated

The aim is to study the genetic makeup (genome) of representative strains of D. nodosus causing the lower-virulent form of the disease for potential genetic markers to distinguish lower-virulent strains from virulent strains.

This is a longitudinal study of laboratory virulence diagnosis (Elastase test) compared to the clinical diagnosis of footrot outbreaks in NSW.

(Hons project - Sandy Nguyen)

This is a new project employing retrospective data analysis methods in conjunction with the Sydney Institute of Agriculture.

Publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals:

  1. Andrew S. McPherson, Richard J. Whittington, Evelyn Hall, Emma J. Cook, Jeremy V. Jones, Yan Qi Ang, Emma L. McTavish, Om P. Dhungyel A comparison of multivalent and bivalent vaccination strategies for the control of virulent ovine footrot. Vaccine 39 (2021) 1739-1745
  2. Andrew S. McPherson, Richard J. Whittington, Ruth M. Kennan, Julian I. Rood, Om P. Dhungyel. A pasture-based experimental infection model for footrot in sheep. Small Ruminant Research (2021) 195-106305
  3. KJ Smith, MJ Rosser, AS McPherson, RJ Whittington, NK Dhand and OP Dhungyel. The severity of footrot lesions induced by aprV2-positive strains of Dichelobacter nodosus varies between strains. Australian Veterinary Journal (2021) doi: 10.1111/avj.13065
  4. Karen J Smith, Richard J Whittington, Mark Corrigan, Belinda Edmonstone, Nic Cronin, Navneet K Dhand, Om P Dhungyel. Efficacy of bi-valent fimbrial vaccines to control and eliminate lower virulent forms of footrot in sheep. Submitted to Australian Veterinary Journal
  5. McPherson, A., Dhungyel, O., Whittington, R. (2019). The microbiome of the footrot lesion in Merino sheep is characterised by a persistent bacterial dysbiosis. Veterinary Microbiology, 236, 1-10
  6. Bhardwaj, V., Dhungyel, O., de Silva, K., Dhand, N., Whittington, R. (2018). An objective method for assessment of foot conformation in sheep. Small Ruminant Research, 167, 22-28
  7. McPherson, A., Dhungyel, O., Whittington, R. (2018). Detection and serogrouping of Dichelobacter nodosus infection by use of direct PCR from lesion swabs to support outbreak-specific vaccination for virulent footrot in sheep. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 56(4), 1-12
  8. McPherson, A., Dhungyel, O., Whittington, R. (2017). Evaluation of Genotypic and Phenotypic Protease Virulence Tests for Dichelobacter nodosus Infection in Sheep. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 55(5), 1313-1326


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