Paraffin-embedded fragments of bovine digital skin lesions were sectioned and stained with Warthin-Starry, haematoxylin and eosin, Grocott’s methenamine silver and immunohistochemical techniques. Microorganisms observed in the silver-stained sections were classified into four major morphological groups. Spirochaetes were the most prevalent organisms, but bacillary and coccoid elements were also present in most sections. Immunohistochemical probing demonstrated that approximately 80 per cent, 46 per cent and 41 per cent of the digital and interdigital dermatitis sections stained positively with polyclonal antisera to Treponema pallidum, Campylobacter jejuni and Fusobacterium necrophorum, respectively. An unidentified branching filamentous organism (presumed to be an actinomycete) was consistently present in the sections of samples from mild interdigital lesions.
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