Volume 28, Number 8—August 2022
From the Greek derma (skin) + philos (loving), Dermatophilus congolensis is a Gram-positive, aerobic actinomycete, and facultatively anaerobic bacteria (Figure 1). D. congolensis infects the epidermis and produces exudative dermatitis termed dermatophilosis that was previously known as rain rot, rain scald, streptotrichosis, and mycotic dermatitis.
In 1915, René Van Saceghem (Figure 2), a Belgian military veterinarian stationed at a veterinary laboratory in the former Belgian Congo (thus, the species name congolensis), reported D. congolensis from exudative dermatitis in cattle. Local breeders and veterinarians had observed the disease since 1910, but the causal agent was not identified.
Dermatophilosis affects animals, mainly cattle, and more rarely humans. Outbreaks of D. congolensis infection have severe economic implications in the livestock and leather industries.
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Original Publication Date: July 11, 2022