A TaqMan real-time PCR-based assay for the identification of Fasciola spp.
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Real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) is one of the key technologies of the post-genome era, with clear advantages compared to normal end-point PCR. In this paper, we report the first qPCR-based assay for the identification of Fasciola spp. Based on sequences of the second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-2) of the ribosomal rRNA gene, we used a set of genus-specific primers for Fasciola ITS-2 amplification, and we designed species-specific internal TaqMan probes to identify F. hepatica and F. gigantica, as well as the hybrid 'intermediate'Fasciola. These primers and probes were used for the highly specific, sensitive, and simple identification of Fasciola species collected from different animal host from China, Spain, Niger and Egypt. The novel qPCR-based technique for the identification of Fasciola spp. may provide a useful tool for the epidemiological investigation of Fasciola infection, including their intermediate snail hosts.
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