Specimens taken postmortem from typical lesions of digital dermatitis in two dairy cows were tested by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of a spirochaetal 16S rRNA gene. Seven different assays detected the gene in the samples from both cows. Two of the PCR products were sequenced and a comparison of the nucleotide sequences revealed that the spirochaete belonged to the genus Treponema and was closely related to Treponema denticola. A PCR specific for the detection of the digital dermatitis-associated treponeme was developed.
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