Author(s): Okeoma CM, Stowell KM, Williamson NB, Pomroy WE
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Abstract This study quantified Neospora caninum DNA in the blood and brain of pregnant and aborted heifers by monitoring PCR product formation in real-time using SYBR Green I, a double-stranded DNA-binding dye. Primers were designed to amplify a 188 bp product specific to N. caninum from the Nc-5 gene fragment of N. caninum. Similarly, a 71 bp product was amplified from the 28S rRNA gene of bovine genomic DNA that served as a control. Agarose gel electrophoresis and analysis of the melting curve for PCR products showed that both primer pairs were specific to their targets. Standard curves were generated for both bovine and N. caninum genomic DNA, and were used to compute the relative concentration of parasite to bovine DNA in the test samples. The concentration of N. caninum DNA in 1 ng of bovine genomic DNA obtained from blood ranged between 0.097 ng at the 1st week of the observation and 0 ng at the 15th week in aborted cows. In pregnant cows, the values ranged between 0.080 ng at the 1st week and 0.155 ng at the 15th week of observation. There was a sustained decrease of DNA concentration in the aborted group after abortion and an increase in DNA concentration in the pregnant group. Comparison of parasite DNA in blood and brain of infected heifers showed a higher DNA concentration in brain than in blood. This study shows that N. caninum DNA can be quantified to obtain the relative concentration of parasite DNA to host genomic DNA in blood. This technique allows testing of a large number of samples at one time and can be done without the need for slaughter of tested animals.
This article was published in Exp Parasitol
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy