Identifying maintenance hosts for infection with Dichelobacter nodosus in free-ranging wild ruminants in Switzerland: A prevalence study

Autoři: Gaia Moore-Jones aff001;  Flurin Ardüser aff002;  Salome Dürr aff003;  Stefanie Gobeli Brawand aff004;  Adrian Steiner aff002;  Patrik Zanolari aff002;  Marie-Pierre Ryser-Degiorgis aff001
Působiště autorů: Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland aff001;  Clinic for Ruminants, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland aff002;  Veterinary Public Health Institute, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Bern, Liebefeld, Switzerland aff003;  Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article


Footrot is a worldwide economically important, painful, contagious bacterial foot disease of domestic and wild ungulates caused by Dichelobacter nodosus. Benign and virulent strains have been identified in sheep presenting with mild and severe lesions, respectively. However, in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex), both strains have been associated with severe lesions. Because the disease is widespread throughout sheep flocks in Switzerland, a nationwide footrot control program for sheep focusing on virulent strains shall soon be implemented. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the nationwide prevalence of both strain groups of D. nodosus in four wild indigenous ruminant species and to identify potential susceptible wildlife maintenance hosts that could be a reinfection source for domestic sheep. During two years (2017–2018), interdigital swabs of 1,821 wild indigenous ruminant species (Alpine ibex, Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus)) were analysed by Real-Time PCR. Furthermore, observed interspecies interactions were documented for each sample. Overall, we report a low prevalence of D. nodosus in all four indigenous wild ruminants, for both benign (1.97%, N = 36, of which 31 red deer) and virulent (0.05%, N = 1 ibex) strains. Footrot lesions were documented in one ibex with virulent strains, and in one ibex with benign strains. Interspecific interactions involving domestic livestock occurred mainly with cattle and sheep. In conclusion, the data suggest that wild ungulates are likely irrelevant for the maintenance and spread of D. nodosus. Furthermore, we add evidence that both D. nodosus strain types can be associated with severe disease in Alpine ibex. These data are crucial for the upcoming nationwide control program and reveal that wild ruminants should not be considered as a threat to footrot control in sheep in this context.

Klíčová slova:

Cattle – Deer – Domestic animals – Livestock – Ruminants – Sheep – Veterinary diseases – Wildlife


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