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Iran J Parasitol. 2013 Oct;8(4):627-33.

Detection of Infection with Larval Stages of Ornithobilharzia turkestanicum using PCR in Field-Collected Snails of Lymnaea gedrosiana from Northwestern Iran.

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Dept. of Pathobiology, Parasitology Division, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Nazlu campus, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Nazlu campus, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
Artemia and Aquatic Animals Research Institute, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.



Infection with Ornithobilharzia turkestanicum has been reported in a wide range of animals worldwide. This study was undertaken to assess the utility of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for detecting the infection with O. turkestanicum larvae stages in Lymnaea gedrosiana.


A total of 6,759 Lymnaeidae snails were collected from six aquatic habitats in West Azarbaijan, northwest Iran. Of these, the snails of L. gedrosiana were identified. To detect infected L. gedrosiana with the larval stages of O. turkestanicum, they were subjected for cercarial shedding and molecular examinations. The genomic DNA was extracted and PCR was performed to specifically amplify a fragment of the nuclear 28SrRNA gene of O. turkestanicum.


Of all collected snails, 5.4% (365/6,759) were the snails of L. gedrosiana. The cercarial shedding method revealed that 23.56% (86/365) of the snails were infected. The PCR patterns confirmed that 28.77% (105/365) snails of L. gedrosiana were infected with larval stages of O. turkestanicum. The infected snails were observed in five studied sites. The highest infection rate (66.66%, 20/30) was recorded in the snails of Ghargologh in the northern part. Only 35.24% (37/105) of the infected snails were from the plain areas, whereas the remaining existed in high altitudes.


It was concluded PCR method could be an efficient and fast method for uncovering the actual rate of infection with larval stages of O. turkestanicum in the snails of L. gedrosiana. This method can be also useful for the domestic animals and public health management programs in the country.


28SrRNA gene; Iran; Lymnaea gedrosiana; Ornithobilharzia turkestanicum; PCR


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