In vitro and in vivo evaluation of some antimicrobials and disinfectants against bacterial pathogens from hoof lesions in dairy cattle

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Ph.D. Student in Clinical Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-54000, Pakistan

2 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-54000, Pakistan

3 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-54000, Pakistan

4 Department of Statistics and Computer Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences Business Management, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore-54000, Pakistan

5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Jhang, Pakistan


Background: Lameness in dairy cattle is prevalent worldwide and has serious economic and welfare implications. Nevertheless, it is an overlooked and least studied dairy problem in Pakistan. Aims: This study was executed for in vivo and in vitro evaluation of antimicrobials and disinfectants against bacterial pathogens from hoof lesions of commercial dairy cattle. Methods: For in vitro studies, 23 bacterial isolates (n=10 Staphylococcus aureus, n=8 Fusobacterium necrophorum, and n=5 Bacteroides) from hoof lesions were used for antimicrobial and disinfectants susceptibility testing. In vivo trials were carried out among 4 groups of dairy cows suffering from hoof lesions using different combinations of antimicrobials, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and disinfectants either parenterally or topically. Results: Results indicated that most of the isolates of S. aureus, F. necrophorum, and Bacteroides were resistant to penicillin, amoxicillin, trimethoprim + sulphamethoxazole, oxytetracycline, and tylosin. Ciprofloxacin and gentamicin were the most effective antimicrobials (in vitro) against all three bacterial pathogens. Comparison of in vitro efficacy of disinfectants showed that copper sulfate was the most effective disinfectant against the three pathogens followed by povidone-iodine and chloroxylenol. In vivo trials revealed that ciprofloxacin at 5 mg/kg/day intramuscular (IM) for 7 days, flunixin meglumine at 2.2 mg/kg/day IM for 7 days, and copper sulfate (5% solution) as foot-bath twice daily for 21 days was the most effective treatment regimen to treat lameness in commercial dairy cows. Conclusion: It was concluded that in vitro antibiogram and disinfectant studies were useful tools to assess the effectiveness of routinely used antimicrobials and disinfectants for the treatment of lameness.


Main Subjects

Alawneh, J; Laven, R and Stevenson, M (2012). Interval between detection of lameness by locomotion scoring and treatment for lameness: A survival analysis. Vet. J., 193: 622-625.
Amory, J; Barker, Z; Wright, J; Mason, S; Blowey, R and Green, L (2008). Associations between sole ulcer, white line disease and digital dermatitis and the milk yield of 1824 dairy cows on 30 dairy cow farms in England and Wales from February 2003-November 2004. Prev. Vet. Med., 83: 381-391.
Bergey, DH; Krieg, NR and Holt, JG (1984). Bergey’s manual of systematic bacteriology. Williams & Wilkins Publishers, Baltimore, USA.
Bicalho, RC; Cheong, SH; Cramer, G and Guard, CL (2007). Association between a visual and an automated locomotion score in lactating Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci., 90: 3294-3300.
Blowey, R and Sharp, M (1988). Digital dermatitis in dairy cattle. Vet. Record., 122: 505-508.
Booth, CJ; Warnick, LD; Grohn, YT; D. Maizon, O; Guard, CL and Janssen, D (2004). Effect of lameness on culling in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci., 87: 4115-4122.
Cappuccino, JG and Sherman, N (2014). Microbiology: a laboratory manual. 7th Edn., San Franciso, USA, Benjamin Cummings Publishers of Pearosn Educstors.
CLSI (2002). Performance standards for antimicrobial disk and dilution susceptibility tests for bacteria isolated from animals. 2nd Edn., Approved Atandard M31-A2. National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, Wayne, PA.
Cook, NB; Bennett, TB and Nordlund, KV (2004). Effect of free stall surface on daily activity patterns in dairy cows with relevance to lameness prevalence. J. Dairy Sci., 87: 2912-2922.
Demirkan, I; Murray, R and Carter, S (2000). Skin diseases of the bovine digit associated with lameness. Vet. Bull., 70: 149-171.
El-Shorbagy, MM; Nasr, EM and Maghawry, MA (2008). Minimum inhibitory concentrations for selected antimicrobial agents against Fusobacterium necrophorum isolated from bovine hepatic abscesses. Egypt. J. Comp. Path. Clinic. Path., 21: 176-190.
Fjeldaas, T; Knappe-Poindecker, M; Bøe, K and Larssen, R (2014). Water footbath, automatic flushing, and disinfection to improve the health of bovine feet. J. Dairy Sci., 97: 2835-2846.
Green, L; Huxley, J; Banks, C and Green, MJ (2014). Temporal associations between low body condition, lameness and milk yield in a UK dairy herd. Prev. Vet. Med., 113: 63-71.
Hernandez, JA; Garbarino, EJ; Shearer, JK; Risco, CA and Thatcher, WW (2005). Comparison of milk yield in dairy cows with different degrees of lameness. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 227: 1292-1296.
Hernandez, J; Shearer, JK and Webb, DW (2001). Effect of lameness on the calving-to-conception interval in dairy cows. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 218: 1611-1614.
Kumar, R; Kataktalware, MA; Senani, S; Sivaram, M and Ramesha, K (2019). Risk factors associated with incidence of hoof disorders in cross bred dairy cattle under field conditions. Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci., 8: 2284-2292.
Larson, EL and Morton,HE (1991). Alcohols. In: Block, SS (Ed.), Disinfection, sterilization, and preservation. (4th Edn.), Philadelphia, Pa, Lea & Febiger. PP: 191-203.
Laven, R and Logue, D (2006). Treatment strategies for digital dermatitis for the UK. Vet. J., 171: 79-88.
Laven, R and Proven, M (2000). Use of an antibiotic footbath in the treatment of bovine digital dermatitis. Vet. Rec., 147: 503-506.
Melendez, P; Bartolome, J; Archbald, LF and Donovan, A (2003). The association between lameness, ovarian cysts and fertility in lactating dairy cows. Theriogenology. 59: 927-937.
Ohya, T; Yamaguchi, H; Nii, Y and Ito, H (1999). Isolation of Campylobacter sputorum from lesions of papillomatous digital dermatitis in dairy cattle. Vet. Rec., 145: 316-318.
Read, DH and Walker, RL (1998). Papillomatous digital dermatitis (footwarts) in California dairy cattle: clinical and gross pathologic findings. J. Vet. Diagn. Invest., 10: 67-76.
Read, D; Walker, R; Castro, A; Sundberg, J and Thurmond, M (1992). An invasive spirochaete associated with interdigital papillomatosis of dairy cattle. Vet. Rec., 130: 59-60.
Solano, L; Barkema, H; Jacobs, C and Orsel, K (2017). Validation of the M-stage scoring system for digital dermatitis on dairy cows in the milking parlor. J. Dairy Sci., 100: 1592-1603.
Speijers, M; Baird, L; Finney, G; McBride, J; Kilpatrick, D; Logue, D and O’Connell, N (2010). Effectiveness of different footbath solutions in the treatment of digital dermatitis in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci., 93: 5782-5791.
Stamm, L; Bergen, H and Walker, R (2002). Molecular typing of papillomatous digital dermatitis-associated Treponema isolates based on analysis of 16S-23S ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer regions. J. Clin. Microbiol., 40: 3463-3469.
Tadich, N; Flor, E and Green, L (2010). Associations between hoof lesions and locomotion score in 1098 unsound dairy cows. Vet. J., 184: 60-65.
Teixeira, A; Machado, V; Caixeta, L; Pereira, R and Bicalho, R (2010). Efficacy of formalin, copper sulfate, and a commercial footbath product in the control of digital dermatitis. J. Dairy Sci., 93: 3628-3634.
Thrusfield, M (2005). Veterinary epidemiology. 3rd Edn., Cambridge USA, Black Well Science Ltd., PP: 225-228.
Von Keyserlingk, MA; Rushen, J; de Passille, AM and Weary, DM (2009). Invited review: The welfare of dairy cattle-key concepts and the role of science. J. Dairy Sci., 92: 4101-4111.
Wani, SA; Bhat, MA and Buchh, AS (2003). Antibiogram and bacterial flora’ of pyogenic infections of domestic animals in Kashmir valley. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 73: 384-386.
Watson, C (2007). Lameness in cattle. Crowood Press, Marlborough, UK.