Dichelobacter nodosus

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  • Formerly known as Bacteroides
  • Characteristics:
    • Large Gram negative rods with terminal swellings
    • Long polar fimbriae
    • 16 antigenic types of fimbriae - used to differentiate strains antigenically
    • All strains possess same O antigen
    • Colonies of virulent strains have a dark central zone, a pale granular middle zone and an irregular periphery
    • Strains detected by ELISA and PCR
    • Thermostable proteases and elastase contribute to pathogenesis
    • Keratinolytic proteases required for virulence
    • Fimbriae required for adhesion to hoof
    • Primary pathogen of epidermal tissues of hoof of ruminants, suriving briefly in the envionment
    • Passed from animal to animal
    • Causes foot rot in sheep along with other bacteria
  • Ovine footrot:
    • Contagious, economically important disease
    • Wet pasture and hydrated stratum corneum leads to colonisation by Gram positive cocci and Arcanobacter pyogenes, followed by F. necrophorum; addition of D. nodosus causes footrot
    • Can lead to loss of hoof
  • Immunity:
    • Homologous antibody to fimbrial antigen prevents adhesion and protects against footrot
    • Antibody must penetrate the epidermal layers and reach adequate concentration on the skin surface
    • Vaccine available