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Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Development of a multiplex quantitative PCR assay for simultaneous detection of Treponema phagedenis, Treponema pedis, Treponema medium, and 'Treponema vincentii' and evaluation on bovine digital dermatitis biopsies

Frosth, Sara; Eriksson, Hanna K.; Rosander, Anna


Bovine digital dermatitis (BDD) is a contagious foot disease with worldwide occurrence in dairy cattle. The disease causes lameness and reduced animal welfare as well as economic losses for the farmer. The aetiology is not fully established but associations have been made with Treponema spp. Today, BDD diagnosis is mainly based on visual inspection of cattle feet, therefore this study aimed to develop a multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay targeting Treponema phagedenis, Treponema pedis, Treponema medium, and 'Treponema vincentii' to aid in diagnosis. The assay was tested for specificity on 53 bacterial strains and in silico on 168 Treponema spp. genomes, representative of at least 24 species. In addition, 37 BDD biopsies were analysed and the results compared to another qPCR assay published during the study period, which we modified by combining into a multiplex qPCR. The qPCR developed herein had a detection limit of 10 copies of each target species per PCR reaction. Both qPCR assays showed 100% specificity when tested on bacterial strains, but the qPCR developed in this study detected 3.4% more T. phagedenis-positive biopsies of lesion category M1-M4.1 than the modified assay. To conclude, the developed qPCR assay detecting T. phagedenis, T. pedis, T. medium, and 'T. vincentii' has high analytical sensitivity and specificity and provides a useful complementary tool for diagnosis and epidemiological studies of BDD. The assay could possibly also be used for contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD) as similar bacteriological profiles have been suggested for BDD and CODD, especially regarding certain Treponema spp.


Bovine digital dermatitis; Contagious ovine digital dermatitis; Ovine footrot; Lameness; Cattle; Sheep; Real-time PCR

Publicerad i

Veterinary Research Communications
2023, Volym: 47, nummer: 4, sidor: 1937–1947
Utgivare: SPRINGER