Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Development and validation of real-time PCR methods for diagnosis of Teladorsagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus in sheep (2009)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Learmount, Jane
    Conyers, Chris
    Hird, Hez
    Morgan, Colin
    Craig, Barbara H
    von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg (WE 13)
    Taylor, Mike
    Veterinary Parasitology; 166(3/4) — S. 268–274
    ISSN: 0304-4017
    DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.08.017
    Pubmed: 19836895
    Institut für Parasitologie und Tropenveterinärmedizin

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35, 22, 23
    14163 Berlin
    +49 30 838 62310

    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Parasitic gastroenteritis, a disease caused by parasitic nematodes, is of major concern to the sheep industry and threatens sustainability. Traditional methods for diagnosis of the type and level of infection in a sheep flock require laborious laboratory extraction, culture and microscopic examination of eggs or larvae from faecal samples. Advances in molecular technology offer the potential for more efficient and reliable methods. This study aimed to develop and test a real-time PCR method for routine diagnosis of infection by Teladorsagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus in sheep. Primer/probe sets were designed around the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region as sequence data was available from other studies and so tests used published primer/probe sets, as well as those designed at the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera). Different primer/probe combinations were tested for specificity against DNA extracted from T. circumcincta larvae or H. contortus DNA. All sets were tested for cross reactivity against four other closely related species, using real-time PCR technology. Reactions were optimised with the best primer/probe combination for each species and then tested for sensitivity against samples containing different T. circumcincta or H. contortus DNA concentrations. Faecal samples were collected from sheep infected with T. circumcincta or H. contortus alone and the eggs harvested, counted and DNA extracted. Serial dilutions were prepared to give a range of concentrations between approximately 3000 and 50 eggs per sample and real-time PCR reactions were carried out for each and mean cycle time (Ct) values were calculated. These Ct values were plotted against the sample egg concentration to produce a standard curve. Regression analysis was carried out using the generated data. Eggs were then harvested from faecal samples collected in the field from sheep carrying natural mixed infections, DNA extracted and Ct values recorded as before. Results were compared to the standard curve data in order to calculate the approximate number of T. circumcincta and H. contortus eggs in each field sample. These values were compared to the number of eggs determined using the traditional laboratory methods and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients calculated. Results showed a strong correlation between numbers of eggs determined using the traditional and novel molecular methods suggesting that the developed molecular tools adequately predict egg numbers in this range. Further development and validation work should allow practical use of the method. This assay has significant advantages over the traditional methods currently used routinely at Fera and other parasitology laboratories and these are discussed.