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Dichelobacter nodosus (D. nodosus) is the causative pathogen of ovine footrot, a disease that has a significant welfare and financial impact on the global sheep industry. Previous studies into the phylogenetics of D. nodosus have focused on Australia and Scandinavia, meaning the current diversity in the United Kingdom (U.K.) population and its relationship globally, is poorly understood. Numerous epidemiological methods are available for bacterial typing; however, few account for whole genome diversity or provide the opportunity for future application of new computational techniques. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) measures nucleotide variations within several loci with slow accumulation of variation to enable the designation of allele numbers to determine a sequence type. The usage of whole genome sequence data enables the application of MLST, but also core and whole genome MLST for higher levels of strain discrimination with a negligible increase in experimental cost. An MLST database was developed alongside a seven loci scheme using publically available whole genome data from the sequence read archive. Sequence type designation and strain discrimination was compared to previously published data to ensure reproducibility. Multiple D. nodosus isolates from U.K. farms were directly compared to populations from other countries. The U.K. isolates define new clades within the global population of D. nodosus and predominantly consist of serogroups A, B and H, however serogroups C, D, E, and I were also found. The scheme is publically available at

Original publication




Journal article


Front Microbiol

Publication Date





Dichelobacter nodosus, MLST genotyping, cgMLST, core genome multilocus sequence typing, footrot, whole genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST)