Antigens for serological diagnosis of ovine footrot

R. J. Whittington, V. F. Saunders, E. K. Moses

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    An antigen extracted from Dichelobacter nodosus with potassium thiocyanate (KSCN) is currently used in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for serological diagnosis of ovine footrot, but the test lacks specificity in mature sheep. Other antigens were therefore evaluated for use in this test. Structural components of the cell envelope of D. nodosus including outermembrane, cytoplasmic membrane, lipopolysaccharide and pilus and extracellular proteases were purified from cultured D. nodosus while recombinant membrane proteins, protease and pilus antigens were also evaluated. Many antigenic components of D. nodosus participated in reactions in ELISA that were not specific for infection with D. nodosus and apart from pilus, none of the antigens resulted in improved specificity of the ELISA. Using a positive-negative cut-off to yield sensitivity of 70%, ELISA using pili from cultured D. nodosus serogroup A had a specificity of 98.3% compared with 89.7% for the ELISA with KSCN-extract as antigen (P < 0.001). Recombinant pili morphogenetically expressed in Pseudomonas aeruginosa were unsuitable for use in ELISA due to copurification of Pseudomonas antigens to which apparently healthy sheep directed antibodies. The application of ELISA with D. nodosus pilus as antigen in footrot control programs is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)255-274
    Number of pages20
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - Mar 1997


    • Dichelobacter nodosus
    • ELISA
    • antigen purification
    • diagnosis
    • footrot
    • sheep-bacteria

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • veterinary(all)


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