Novel ulcerative leg lesions in yearling lambs: Clinical features, microbiology and histopathology

Staton, GJ ORCID: 0000-0003-4100-8597, Crosby-Durrani, H ORCID: 0000-0001-9297-0001, Roberts, G, Duncan, JS ORCID: 0000-0002-1370-3085, Seechurn, N, Blowey, R and Evans, NJ ORCID: 0000-0002-2950-1007
(2020) Novel ulcerative leg lesions in yearling lambs: Clinical features, microbiology and histopathology. Veterinary Microbiology, 247.

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Here we report an outbreak of an atypical, ulcerative dermatitis in North Country mule lambs, located in South Gloucestershire, UK. The lesions, which appeared to be contagious, occured between the coronary band and the carpal joint as a focal, well demarcated, circular, ulcerative dermatitis. Histopathological examination of the lesion biopsies revealed areas of ulceration, epidermal hyperplasia, suppurative dermatitis and granulation tissue. Clumped keratohyalin granules and intracellular keratinocyte oedema (ballooning degeneration) were evident within lesion biopsies, consistent with an underlying viral aetiology. A PCR-based microbiological investigation failed to detect bovine digital dermatitis-associated treponeme phylogroups, Dichelobacter nodosus, Staphylococcus aureus, Dermatophilus congolensis or Chordopoxvirinae virus DNA. However, 3 of the 10 (30 %) and 6 of 10 (60 %) lesion samples were positive for Fusobacterium necrophorum and Streptococcus dysgalactiae DNA, respectively. Contralateral limb swabs were negative by all standard PCR assays. To better define the involvement of F. necrophorum in the aetiology of these lesions, a qPCR targeting the rpoB gene was employed and confirmed the presence of F. necrophorum DNA in both the control and lesions swab samples, although the mean F. necrophorum genome copy number detected in the lesion swab samples was ∼19-fold higher than detected in the contralateral control swab samples (245 versus 4752 genome copies/μl, respectively; P < 0.001). Although we have not been able to conclusively define an aetiological agent, the presence of both F. necrophorum and S. dysgalactiae in the majority of lesions assayed supports their role in the aetiopathogenesis of these lesions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sheep, Ulcerative dermatitis, Fusobacterium necrophorum, Streptococcus dysgalactiae
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 08:50
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 14:10
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2020.108790
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