OPTIPA (Optimising foot rot treatment regimens in cattle)

Some cases of foot rot are rapidly severe and do not respond to standard treatments. Could this be due to certain bacteria or the development of antibiotic resistance? Should treatment regimens be reviewed?


Foot rot, also known as interdigital phlegmon, is responsible for severe, sudden-onset lameness in cattle. It is caused by some bacteria, particularly Fusobacterium necrophorum, that penetrate deep into the interdigital tissue. It is treated with parenteral antibiotics, and clinical improvement is usually visible within a few days.

In recent years, French vets have reported several cases of 'super foot rot’. The animals are affected by an extremely severe form of foot rot, which does not respond to antibiotic treatment and leads to the premature culling or even death of the affected animals.
The aims of this project are to acquire new knowledge about the bacteria present in foot rot and their sensitivity to antibiotics, to clarify whether antibiotic resistance may be responsible for 'super foot rot’ and, finally, to optimise treatment regimens for foot rot.

To do this, almost 200 cattle diagnosed with acute foot rot will be followed by their vet, with a clinical examination of the cattle and their feet, aseptic sample of the lesion for bacteriological analysis, treatment with a standardised regimen, and clinical follow-up during 15 days.

OPTIPA © Johann Kofler

Research period : 2024 – 2026

Project funded by the Ecoantibio plan (https://agriculture.gouv.fr/mots-cles/ecoantibio)

OPTIPA was approved by the CERVO Ethics Committee


Société nationale des groupements techniques vétérinaires (SNGTV) https://www.plateforme-esa.fr/en/node/36

Persons involved in BIOEPAR

Anne Relun, Raphaël Guattéo, Anne Lehébel, Nadine Brisseau, Marie Busnot (stagiaire vétérinaire)


Anne Relun : anne.relun@oniris-nantes.fr ; (+33) 2 40 68 40 27

Modification date : 12 March 2024 | Publication date : 01 March 2024 | Redactor : CAR