Submitted to: Animals
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2015
Publication Date: 11/11/2015
Citation: Wilson-Welder, J.H., Alt, D.P., Nally, J.E. 2015. Digital dermatitis in cattle: current bacterial and immunological findings. Animals. 5:114-1135. doi: 10.3390/ani5040400.
Interpretive Summary: This review summarized current literature and scientific understanding of digital dermatitis. Digital dermatitis affects dairy cattle world-wide. Similar disease has been found in other hooved mammals: beef cattle, sheep, goats and elk. The cause of digital dermatitis is unknown but multiple spirochetes (Treponema) and other anaerobic bacteria appear to be involved. Little is known about these bacteria and less is known about immune responses to them. Further study is needed on the bacteria involved, host immune responses, model development and effective treatments.
Technical Abstract: Globally, digital dermatitis is a leading form of lameness observed in production dairy cattle. While the precise etiology remains to be determined, the disease is clearly associated with infection by numerous Treponema species in addition to other anaerobic bacteria. Multiple treponeme phylotypes, or species, have been identified in lesions, with similar phylotypes present in DD lesions across the globe and in DD-like diseases observed in other species. This review aims to summarize recent studies focusing on bacteria involved in this disease complex. More studies are needed to delineate the pathogenic traits of these Treponemes, and to examine identify other factors contributing to pathology associated with digital dermatitis lesions.