Risk factors associated with the infection of sheep with Dichelobacter nodosus.

Storms, Julia; Wirth, Anna; Vasiliadis, Danae; Jores, Jörg; Kuhnert, Peter; Distl, Ottmar (2022). Risk factors associated with the infection of sheep with Dichelobacter nodosus. Scientific reports, 12(1), p. 10032. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-022-13933-4

s41598-022-13933-4.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Ovine footrot is a highly contagious foot disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus (D. nodosus). In a recent report, we showed a prevalence of 42.9% D. nodosus positive swabs across Germany. In this follow-up study, we used real-time PCR results for D. nodosus and footrot scores of 9297 sheep from 208 flocks and collated these data with survey data on herd and animal characteristics and herd management. The aims of the present study were to investigate herd and animal factors associated with D. nodosus infection and footrot scores in individual sheep. Multivariable analyses with generalized mixed models showed that month of recording, breed, herdbook membership, use of antibiotics, and footbaths in the past 3-10 years, signs of footrot in the past 12 months and flock environment of the sheep, modelled as a random farm effect within region, were significant risk factors. Among the 21 different breeds, Romney had the lowest risk of D. nodosus infection, while Swifter had the highest risk and German Merino and German White Heath were the next breeds at highest risk of D. nodosus infection. The variance between farms in the prevalence of D. nodosus was large and accounted for 84% of the total variance in the mixed model analysis. We conclude that specific and as yet unknown effects influencing D. nodosus infections in flocks, as well as breed and weather, are the most important effects on D. nodosus infection in sheep, pointing towards the need to establish adequate infection control at farm level.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Jores, Jörg and Kuhnert, Peter


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Springer Nature




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2022 09:17

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2022 01:52

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback