Detection of footrot in sheep

Frontiers in Veterinary Science - Best, Nickala; Rawlin, Grant; Suter, Robert; Rodoni, Brendan; Beddoe, Travis

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Finding cheaper, more convenient methods such as the one described here to effectively detect early infection of footrot in the sheep flock directly might reduce costs to the farmer associated with maintaing farm health and productivity.

Optimization of a Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay for In-Field Detection of Dichelobacter nodosus with aprV2 (VDN LAMP) in Victorian Sheep Flocks

What is the problem?

Footrot in sheep is a highly contagious disease caused by a specific enzyme called AprV2 secreted by the Dichelobacter nodosus

A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was investigated as being a more practical and efficient method of detection of nodosus in footrot in the field.

What did the research involve?

  • LAMP assay for the detection of aprV2-positive nodosus (VDN LAMP) was developed and evaluated for field use. 309 sheep from 19 different flocks were sampled in Victoria, Australia to identify the optimal conditions for performing the LAMP assay of aprV2-positive D. nodosus infected sheep.
  • Flocks were sampled in moist winter-spring conditions or dry early summer conditions.
  • Sample preparation methods, clinical expression of disease, and physical aspects of sampling were considered as variables when evaluating the performance of the test for field use.

What were the key findings?

The research showed that VDN LAMP assay could be used in the field to effectively and accurately detect the footrot disease in sheep and was able to be efficiently applied in the field with the best results being found when the sheep’s feet were cleaned and moistened.

Final comment

The VDN LAMP assay method achieved a sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 97% when used in-field under these conditions.


This paper was summarised by Luke Stafford (Bachelor of Biological Sciences with Honours – Botany and Genetics Majors (La Trobe University) and reviewed by Nickala Best (PhD Student (La Trobe University). Learn more about Luke and Nickala here.

2019 - Australia - Frontiers in Veterinary Science - Best, Nickala; Rawlin, Grant; Suter, Robert; Rodoni, Brendan; Beddoe, Travis
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