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Study of lesser virulent footrot in NSW

Karen Smith, Richard Whittington, Navneet Dhand and Om Dhungyel
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney

Posted Flock & Herd September 2021

Footrot is a contagious disease that affects the welfare of animals and causes production losses in the sheep meat and wool industries worldwide. The Gram-negative bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus is the essential causative agent of ovine footrot and can cause a spectrum of disease ranging from benign to virulent footrot which results in severe lesions with under-running of the hoof. The prevalence of disease is influenced by host susceptibility, virulence of isolate and environmental conditions, with higher levels of disease typically occurring in warm and moist climatic conditions. The prevalence of virulent footrot has been reduced to <1% of flocks in New South Wales (NSW) due to the implementation of the Footrot strategic Plan in 1988. Consequently, the impact of lesser virulent strains of D. nodosus is becoming more apparent in NSW with traditional treatments and eradication programs often failing to eliminate the disease. In my research project studies at the University of Sydney I have looked at the following aspects of the disease relating to NSW:


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