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J Parasitol. 2001 Apr;87(2):395-8.

Specific detection of Neospora caninum oocysts in fecal samples from experimentally-infected dogs using the polymerase chain reaction.

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USDA, ARS, LPSI, Parasite Biology and Epidemiology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.


Neospora caninum oocysts, passed in the feces of a definitive host (dog), were isolated, and genomic DNA was extracted. A polymerase cahin reaction (PCR) targeting the N. caninum-specific Nc 5 genomic sequence was performed using the isolated DNA. A synthesized competitor molecule containing part of the Nc 5 sequence was included in the assay as a check against false-negative PCR results and to quantify N. caninum oocyst DNA in fecal samples. A standard curve of the ratio of fluorescence intensity of PCR-amplified competitor to that of oocyst DNA was constructed to compare oocyst equivalents from fecal samples containing unknown numbers of N. caninum oocysts and to assess the sensitivity of the assay. The specificity of the assay was determined using the Nc 5-specific primers in PCR assays against other parasites likely to be found in canine feces. Genomic DNA sequences from the canine coccidians Hammondia heydorni, Cryptosporidium parvum, Sarcocystis cruzi, S. tenella, and Isospora ohioensis and the canine helminth parasites Strongyloides stercoralis, Toxocara canis, Dipylidium caninum, and Ancylostoma caninum were not amplified. In addition, genomic DNA sequences from oocysts of coccidian parasites that might contaminate dog feces, such as Hammondia hammondi, Toxoplasma gondii, or Eimeria tenella, were not amplified in the PCR assay. The assay should be useful in epidemiological surveys of both domestic and wild canine hosts and in investigations of oocyst biology in experimental infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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