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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Mar;71(3):1135-41.

Development of procedures for direct extraction of Cryptosporidium DNA from water concentrates and for relief of PCR inhibitors.

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Division of Parasitic Disease, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mail Stop F-12, 4770 Buford Hwy., Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA.


Extraction of high-quality DNA is a key step in PCR detection of Cryptosporidium and other pathogens in environmental samples. Currently, Cryptosporidium oocysts in water samples have to be purified from water concentrates before DNA is extracted. This study compared the effectiveness of six DNA extraction methods (DNA extraction with the QIAamp DNA minikit after oocyst purification with immunomagnetic separation and direct DNA extraction methods using the FastDNA SPIN kit for soil, QIAamp DNA stool minikit, UltraClean soil kit, or QIAamp DNA minikit and the traditional phenol-chloroform technique) for the detection of Cryptosporidium with oocyst-seeded samples, DNA-spiked samples, and field water samples. The study also evaluated the effects of different PCR facilitators (nonacetylated bovine serum albumin, the T4 gene 32 protein, and polyvinylpyrrolidone) and treatments (the use of GeneReleaser or ultrafiltration) for the relief from or removal of inhibitors of PCR amplification. The results of seeding and spiking studies showed that PCR inhibitors were presented in all DNA solutions extracted by the six methods. However, the effect of PCR inhibitors could be relieved significantly by the addition of 400 ng of bovine serum albumin/mul or 25 ng of T4 gene 32 protein/mul to the PCR mixture. With the inclusion of bovine serum albumin in the PCR mixture, DNA extracted with the FastDNA SPIN kit for soil without oocyst isolation resulted in PCR performance similar to that produced by the QIAamp DNA minikit after oocysts were purified by immunomagnetic separation.

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