Treponema pedis sp. nov., a spirochaete isolated from bovine digital dermatitis lesions

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2009 May;59(Pt 5):987-91. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.002287-0.


Bovine digital dermatitis (BDD) is a debilitating infection that is being increasingly recognized in livestock worldwide. Several treponeme phylotypes have been identified in BDD lesions, although only a single BDD-associated treponeme taxon (Treponema brennaborense) has been proposed thus far. In a previous study, we observed that four BDD-associated spirochaete isolates formed a distinct phylogenetic cluster on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and shared less than 97 % sequence similarity with recognized treponeme species. Further characterization of these isolates on the basis of growth characteristics, flaB2 gene sequences, enzyme profiles and cell morphology confirmed that they formed a coherent taxonomic group displaying marked genotypic and phenotypic differences with respect to recognized treponeme species. The four novel isolates displayed a novel 3 : 6 : 3 flagellar pattern rather than the 2 : 4 : 2 pattern shown by their closest relatives and exhibited esterase C4, esterase lipase C8, trypsin and chymotrypsin enzyme activities. Therefore these four new isolates represent a novel species of the genus Treponema, for which the name Treponema pedis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is T3552B(T) (=DSM 18691(T)=NCTC 13403(T)).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Dermatitis / microbiology
  • Dermatitis / veterinary*
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Foot Diseases / microbiology
  • Foot Diseases / veterinary*
  • Genes, rRNA / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity
  • Treponema / classification*
  • Treponema / genetics
  • Treponema / isolation & purification
  • Treponema / physiology
  • Treponemal Infections / microbiology
  • Treponemal Infections / veterinary*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Flagellin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EF061267
  • GENBANK/EF061268
  • GENBANK/EF061269
  • GENBANK/EF061270
  • GENBANK/EF061283
  • GENBANK/EF061284
  • GENBANK/EU754823
  • GENBANK/EU754824