Anamnestic ELISA to confirm eradication of footrot from Nepal

We used an anamnestic stimulus test and a pilus ELISA as a surveillance tool to confirm that footrot had been eradicated from mixed sheep/goat flocks in Nepal following a program of specific vaccination.

Dhungyel, O. P., Whittington, R. J., Ghimire, S. C. and Egerton, J. R. (2001) Pilus ELISA and an anamnestic test for the diagnosis of virulent ovine footrot and its application in a disease control program in Nepal. Veterinary Microbiology, 79, 31-45. 10.1016/s0378-1135(00)00351-5


Abstract: The immunological memory (anamnestic) responses in sheep recovered from virulent footrot (VFR) can be aroused by subcutaneous injection of outer membrane protein (OMP) antigens of Dichelobacter nodosus. The magnitude of this response is directly correlated to the highest antibody response attained during infection and memory lasts at least a year after recovery from VFR. However, some older animals show non-specific responses to OMP antigens. In this study an evaluation of D. nodosus pilus antigen for the anamnestic diagnosis of footrot in sheep was undertaken. The results indicated that the primary and anamnestic responses to pilus were similar in character to OMP antigen but were highly specific. The sensitivity of the procedure for detection of sheep with a history of VFR was approximately 80%. A low proportion of sheep with mild lesions due to virulent strains of D. nodosus reacted to anamnestic challenge. Anamnestic challenge with 10 mug pilus was used in a VFR surveillance program in migratory sheep flocks in Nepal. Conventional diagnostic methods could not be applied during the disease transmission periods in these flocks because of their migration to alpine pastures far away from human habitation. The results supported clinical and bacteriological findings suggesting that virulent strains of D. nodosus have apparently been eliminated from these flocks in Nepal. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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