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Vet Parasitol. 1995 Mar;57(1-3):75-92.

Nucleic acid probes as a diagnostic method for tick-borne hemoparasites of veterinary importance.

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CENID-PAVET, INIFAP-SARH, Jiutepec, Morelos, Mexico.


An increased number of articles on the use of nucleic acid-based hybridization techniques for diagnostic purposes have been recently published. This article reviews nucleic acid-based hybridization as an assay to detect hemoparasite infections of economic relevance in veterinary medicine. By using recombinant DNA techniques, selected clones containing inserts of Anaplasma, Babesia, Cowdria or Theileria genomic DNA sequences have been obtained, and they are now available to be utilized as specific, highly sensitive DNA or RNA probes to detect the presence of the hemoparasite DNA in an infected animal. Either in an isotopic or non-isotopic detection system, probes have allowed scientists to test for--originally in samples collected from experimentally infected animals and later in samples collected in the field--the presence of hemoparasites during the prepatent, patent, convalescent, and chronic periods of the infection in the host. Nucleic acid probes have given researchers the opportunity to carry out genomic analysis of parasite DNA to differentiate hemoparasite species and to identify genetically distinct populations among and within isolates, strains and clonal populations. Prevalence of parasite infection in the tick vector can now be accomplished more specifically with the nucleic acid probes. Lately, with the advent of the polymerase chain reaction technique, small numbers of hemoparasites can be positively identified in the vertebrate host and tick vector. These techniques can be used to assess the veterinary epidemiological situation in a particular geographical region for the planning of control measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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