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Parasitol Int. 2014 Feb;63(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2013.08.005. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Comparison of the RE and B1 gene for detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in children with cancer.

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Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran. Electronic address:


Early, accurate and effective diagnosis of toxoplasmosis can make an important contribution to the prevention and control of disease, especially in people who are at risk. In this study, two commonly used genomic repeats of Toxoplasma gondii, RE (GenBank accession number AF146527) and B1, were compared to each other in nested-PCR assay. Five hundred and thirty-five blood samples from children with leukemia were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies using enzyme immunoassays. One hundred and ten DNA samples of these patients (50 IgM+, IgG+, 10 IgM-, IgG+, and 50 IgM-, IgG-) were analyzed by nested-PCR. The specificity of two nested PCR assays was determined using the DNA samples of other parasites and human chromosomal DNA. As a result, 82% (41/50) and 68% (34/50) of the IgM+, IgG+ samples were positive on duplicate RE and B1-nested PCR analyses, respectively. None of the 10 IgM-, IgG+ seropositive samples was detected positive after testing RE and B1-nested PCR assays in duplicate. One (2%) of the 50 seronegative samples was positive by duplicate RE-nested PCR but none of them were positive by duplicate B1-nested PCR. The detection limit of the RE-nested PCR assay was 640 fg of T. gondii DNA whereas this rate for B1-nested PCR was 5.12 pg of the DNA template. No cross-reactivity with the DNA of other parasites and human chromosomal DNA was found. The results indicate that an RE-based nested PCR assay is more sensitive than B1 genomic target, of those tested, for detection of T. gondii. It is noteworthy that in comparison with B1-nested PCR, RE-nested PCR could detect the T. gondii DNA in seronegative samples too.


B1; Children with cancer; Nested-PCR; RE; Toxoplasma gondii

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