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Trends Parasitol. 2015 Oct;31(10):499-513. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2015.06.013.

Diverse Applications of Environmental DNA Methods in Parasitology.

Author information

1
Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, UK; Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD, London, UK. Electronic address: d.bass@nhm.ac.uk.
2
Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, UK.
3
Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD, London, UK.
4
Eawag and Institute for Integrative Biology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Ueberlandstrasse 133, Duebendorf, Switzerland.

Abstract

Nucleic acid extraction and sequencing of genes from organisms within environmental samples encompasses a variety of techniques collectively referred to as environmental DNA or 'eDNA'. The key advantages of eDNA analysis include the detection of cryptic or otherwise elusive organisms, large-scale sampling with fewer biases than specimen-based methods, and generation of data for molecular systematics. These are particularly relevant for parasitology because parasites can be difficult to locate and are morphologically intractable and genetically divergent. However, parasites have rarely been the focus of eDNA studies. Focusing on eukaryote parasites, we review the increasing diversity of the 'eDNA toolbox'. Combining eDNA methods with complementary tools offers much potential to understand parasite communities, disease risk, and parasite roles in broader ecosystem processes such as food web structuring and community assembly.

PMID:
26433253
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2015.06.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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