Identifying how digital dermatitis is transmitted between dairy cows


Aims & Objectives
Identify and characterise relationships between digital dermatitis causing bacteria (Treponeme), the cow and the farm environment so that farmers can be informed of best intervention strategies for digital dermatitis.

Expected Outcomes

  • Development of improved techniques to aid in detection of digital dermatitis Treponemes.
  • Improved understanding of the transmission of treponemes between cows as well as between cows and the dairy environment.
  • The ability of treponemes to survive and grow in the dairy environment.
  • Whether treponemes can be associated with healthy feet without causing disease.

Greater understanding of the specific risk factors (eg food, time of year etc) associated with Treponemes in the farm environment will allow for optimal prevention and treatment of digital dermatitis in the future.

Start Date
March 2012

Completion Date
September 2017

Lead Contractor
University of Liverpool

AHDB Dairy

Scientific literature

Evan, N.J., Murray, R.D., Carter, S.D. 2015. Bovine digital dermatitis: current concepts from laboratory to farm. The Veterinary Journal. In press. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2015.10.028

Sullivan, L.E., Blowey, R.W., Carter, S.D., Duncan, J.S., Grove-White, D.H., Page, P., Iveson, T., Angell, J.W., Evans, N.J. 2014. Presence of digital dermatitis treponemes on cattle and sheep hoof trimming equipment. Veterinary Record. Volume 175, Issue 8, page 201

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