Antigenic cross-reactions between Dichelobacter nodosus and other bacteria

We evaluated cross reactions between D. nodosus and other bacteria in an effort to improve the specificity of serological diagnosis of footrot.

Whittington, R. J., Saunders, V. F. and Moses, E. K. (1997) Antigens for serological diagnosis of ovine footrot. Veterinary Microbiology, 54, 255-274. 10.1016/s0378-1135(96)01284-9

Summary: Lack of test specificity for the causative agent of ovine footrot, Dichelobacter nodosus, currently precludes routine application of serological tests. To investigate this problem antigenic cross-reactivity between D. nodosus and other bacteria was studied using double immunodiffusion and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sera from sheep and rabbits immunised with D. nodosus reacted with other taxa but particularly Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica, Cardiobacterium hominis, Suttonella indologenes, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, Brucella ovis, Proteus vulgaris and Histophilus ovis. Sheep sera were then adsorbed with bacterial antigens and reacted in ELISA with cell envelope antigens of D. nodosus to determine whether non-specific reactivity could be reduced, C. pseudotuberculosis and the antigenically related organisms Nocardia asteroides and Mycobacterium phlei, as well as Bacteroides ruminicola and several other taxa reduced the signal in the ELISA, Antibodies reactive with many taxa increased with age of sheep, Sheep sera were more cross reactive than rabbit sera and distinguished relatively poorly between the antigens of different bacteria. Unfortunately the simple expedient of immunoadsorption was not effective in reducing non-specific reactions to the extent required for practical application of a serological test for ovine footrot.

If you would like a copy of the scientific paper, please send a request by email to: