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    Chickens and ducks are important sources of essential proteins and nutrition for global consumption, especially their eggs and meat. Tapeworm infections in chickens and ducks are the cause of serious poultry health and economic problems in the processing of livestock and food production systems. Raillietina are cosmopolitan in distribution and are possibly the most common tapeworm parasites. There are three important species regarding avian infection, with different pathogenicity, including Raillietina echinobothrida, R. tetragona, and R. cesticillus. Co-infection diagnosis of these tapeworms using morphological analysis can be performed, but this is time-consuming and complicated. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a triplex PCR for the detection and discrimination of three Raillietina species. The triplex PCR assay specifically amplified target DNAs with no inter-specific interference and produced a specific band for each species. According to the specificity test, there was no cross-amplification with the DNA template of related parasites and their hosts. The lowest detectable DNA concentrations were evaluated and provided sensitivities of 0.5 pg/μL for R. echinobothrida, 5 pg/μL for R. tetragona, 50 fg/μL for R. cesticillus, and 5 pg/μL for the combination of DNA from all three species. Simultaneous detection limits of egg capsules and gravid proglottids was also performed, with and without feces. The interference of feces in the reaction was related to a decrease in sensitivity, but simultaneous detection of three Raillietina species in amounts lower than one gravid proglottid and ten egg capsules was still successful. Thus, this study is the first triplex PCR assay for Raillietina detection and can be utilized as an alternative diagnostic tool for the detection and discrimination of R. echinobothrida, R. tetragona, and R. cesticillus infection in poultry through the verification of fecal specimens. In addition, it could improve the performance of specific treatments and promote veterinary healthcare. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier B.V.


    Wasin Panich, Sirapat Nak-On, Thapana Chontananarth. High-performance triplex PCR detection of three tapeworm species belonging to the genus Raillietina in infected poultry. Acta tropica. 2022 Aug;232:106516

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    PMID: 35580638

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