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Acta Trop. 2014 Jul;135:50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.03.016. Epub 2014 Mar 30.

Molecular characterization of Toxocara spp. from soil of public areas in Ahvaz southwestern Iran.

Author information

1
Research Institute for Infectious Diseases of Digestive System, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran; Department of Medical Parasitology, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. Electronic address: khademvatan@yahoo.com.
2
Department of Medical Parasitology, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

Abstract

In the present study, the microscopy and polymerase chain reaction methods were used for detection and identification of soil contamination by Toxocara eggs in squares, streets, public parks, and rubbish dumps in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran. A total of 210 soil samples were collected from different parts of the city and examined by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods, following sodium nitrate flotation. Nucleotide sequencing was performed to confirm the results of the PCR method. Toxocara eggs were found in 64 and 71 soil samples using the microscopy and PCR methods, respectively. The highest contamination rate was observed in the central part of Ahvaz (39.5% and 46.5% by the microscopy and PCR methods, respectively). Based on internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) PCR identification, 28% of the samples were diagnosed as Toxocara cati and 5.7% as Toxocara canis; no mixed contamination was observed. DNA sequencing of the ITS2 gene confirmed our findings. Compared to the conventional microscopic detection following by flotation, used as the gold standard, the PCR method appears to be rapid and sensitive as well as allows analysis of Toxocara spp. isolated from soil independent of the stage of egg development. Therefore, the PCR method appears to be a valuable tool for the diagnosis and differentiation of Toxocara spp. from soil samples in epidemiological studies, and will help the local health systems in effective prevention and control of disease.

KEYWORDS:

Eggs; PCR; Soil; Toxocara spp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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