Author(s): CollantesFernndez E, Zaballos A, AlvarezGarca G, OrtegaMora LM
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Abstract We report the development of a real-time PCR assay for the quantitative detection of Neospora caninum in infected host tissues. The assay uses the double-stranded DNA-binding dye SYBR Green I to continuously monitor product formation. Oligonucleotide primers were designed to amplify a 76-bp DNA fragment corresponding to the Nc5 sequence of N. caninum. A similar method was developed to quantify the 28S rRNA host gene in order to compare the parasite load of different samples and to correct for the presence of potential PCR-inhibiting compounds in the DNA samples. A linear quantitative detection range of 6 logs with a calculated detection limit of 10(-1) tachyzoite per assay was observed with excellent linearity (R(2) = 0.998). Assay specificity was confirmed by using DNA from the closely related parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The applicability of the technique was successfully tested in a variety of host brain tissues: (i) aborted bovine fetuses classified into negative or positive Neospora-infected animals according to the observation of compatible lesions by histopathological study and (ii) experimentally infected BALB/c mice, divided into three groups, inoculated animals with or without compatible lesions and negative controls. All samples were also tested by ITS1 Neospora nested PCR and a high degree of agreement was shown between both PCR techniques (kappa = 0.86). This technique represents a useful quantitative diagnostic tool to be used in the study of the pathogenicity, immunoprophylaxis, and treatment of Neospora infection.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology