RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Development and evaluation of a single-step duplex PCR for simultaneous detection of Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica (family Fasciolidae, class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes).
A single-step multiplex PCR (here referred to as a duplex PCR) has been developed for simultaneous detection and diagnosis of Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. These species overlap in distribution in many countries of North and East Africa and Central and Southeast Asia and are similar in egg morphology, making identification from fecal samples difficult. Based on a comparative alignment of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) spanning the region of cox1-trnT-rrnL, two species-specific forward primers were designed, FHF (for F. hepatica) and FGF (for F. gigantica), and a single reverse primer, FHGR (common for both species). Conventional PCR followed by sequencing was applied using species-specific primer pairs to verify the specificity of primers and the identity of Fasciola DNA templates. Duplex PCR (using three primers) was used for testing with the DNA extracted from adult worms, miracidia, and eggs, producing amplicons of 1,031 bp for F. hepatica and 615 bp for F. gigantica. The duplex PCR failed to amplify from DNA of other common liver and intestinal trematodes, including two opisthorchiids, three heterophyids, an echinostomid, another fasciolid, and a taeniid cestode. The sensitivity assay showed that the duplex PCR limit of detection for each Fasciola species was between 0.012 ng and 0.006 ng DNA. Evaluation using DNA templates from 32 Fasciola samples (28 adults and 4 eggs) and from 25 field-collected stools of ruminants and humans revealed specific bands of the correct size and the presence of Fasciola species. This novel mtDNA duplex PCR is a sensitive and fast tool for accurate identification of Fasciola species in areas of distributional and zonal overlap.
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