Determination of prevalence, serological diversity, and virulence of Dichelobacter nodosus in ovine footrot with identification of its predominant serotype as a potential vaccine candidate in J&K, India
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The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, serological diversity, and virulence of Dichelobacter nodosus in footrot lesions of sheep and identification of its predominant serotype as a potential vaccine candidate. The overall prevalence of footrot in sheep was 16.19%, and ranged from 13.69 to 19.71%, respectively. A total of 759 flocks with 22,698 sheep were investigated for footrot and 2374 clinical samples were collected from naturally infected sheep exhibiting footrot lesions. Of the 2374 samples collected, 1446 (60.90%) were positive for D. nodosus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These positive samples when subjected to serogroup-specific multiplex PCR, 1337 (92.46%) samples carried serogroup B, 247 (17.08%) possessed serogroup E, 86 (5.94%) serogroup I, and one (0.069%) serogroup G of D. nodosus. While mixed infection of serogroups B and E was detected in 127 (8.78%), B and I in 46 (3.18%) and B, E, and I in 26 (1.79%) samples, respectively. The serogroup B of D. nodosus was the predominant (92.47%) serogroup affecting sheep population with footrot followed by serogroup E (19.91%) and serogroup I (4.57%), respectively. Virulent status of D. nodosus strains were confirmed by presence of virulence-specific integrase A (intA) gene and the production of thermostable proteases. The intA gene was detected in 709 (72.79%) samples while gelatin gel test carried out on 246 representative isolates all positive for intA gene produced thermostable proteases, confirming their virulence nature. The PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) of whole fimA gene of serogroup B revealed the predominance of serotype B5 (82.97%) of serogroup B. This information suggests that serotype B5 is the predominant serotype of D. nodosus associated with severe footrot lesions in sheep in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India. Hence, this serotype can be a potential vaccine candidate for the effective control and treatment of ovine footrot.
KeywordsOvine footrot Prevalence intA gene fimA gene Gelatin gel test
The authors acknowledge Dr. O.P. Dhungyel, University of Sydney, Camden, NSW 2570, Australia, for the supply of serogroup-specific positive control DNA for the study.
The Niche Area of Excellence (NAE)- ICAR, New Delhi.) financially assisted the study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
This study was performed with the permission of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committees (Number AU/FVS/IAEC-12/83-85) of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, J&K, India.
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