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A footbath-based control program for ovine footrot, a contagious disease caused by Dichelobacter nodosus, will be implemented in Switzerland. The currently used footbath disinfectants formaldehyde, zinc sulfate and copper sulfate are carcinogenic or environmental pollutants. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify alternative disinfectants, which are highly effective, non-carcinogenic, environmentally acceptable, inexpensive, available as concentrate and suitable for licensing. The antimicrobial effect of a series of potential chemicals such as lactic acid, propionic acid, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, octenidine dihydrochloride, chlorocresol, Ampholyt 20 and the registered biocide DESINTEC® Hoof Care Special D (Desintec) were investigated by culture based in vitro testing. The microcidal effect of various Desintec concentrations were then compared against routinely used 4% formaldehyde and 10% zinc sulfate in ex vivo assays on sheep feet from slaughter. For this purpose a newly established PMA (propidium monoazid) real-time PCR using the improved dye PMAxx™ was applied that allows discrimination of viable and dead D. nodosus. In the ex vivo experiments, 4% formaldehyde was significantly more effective than 10% zinc sulfate and was chosen as positive control for assessing the new disinfectant. The disinfectant effect of Desintec in a minimal concentration of 6% was equally effective as 4% formaldehyde, meaning that it offers a comparable antimicrobial effect against virulent D. nodosus. In conclusion, Desintec is a promising disinfectant for replacing formaldehyde, copper sulfate and zinc sulfate in footbaths against footrot.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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