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Korean J Parasitol. 2007 Mar;45(1):69-74.

Differential diagnosis of Trichostrongylus and hookworm eggs via PCR using ITS-1 sequence.

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Department of Parasitology and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Korea.


Trichostrongylus eggs observed in cellophane-thick smears are difficult, in practice, to distinguish from hookworm eggs. In order to overcome these limitations, a molecular approach was conducted. A Trichostrongylus colubriformis adult worm was obtained from a human in Laos, which was identified morphologically. ITS-1 sequence of this worm was determined, and found to be most similar with that of T. colubriformis among the Trichostrongylus spp. reported so far. Then, this sequence was compared with those of human hookworm species, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus, and species-specific oligonucleotide primers were designed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using these primers evidenced specifically amplified PCR products of Trichostrongylus sp., A. duodenale and N. americanus from the eggs of each (520 bp, 690 bp, and 870 bp, respectively). A species-specific PCR technique can be developed in order to study the epidemiology of Trichostrongylus spp. and hookworms in endemic areas.

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