Volume 54, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We used sequences specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) of the sporogonic stages of to design a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay that can detect 0.1 sporozoites in total RNA purified from potentially infected mosquitoes. We made a synthetic RNA that is amplified in the RT-PCR by the same primers as the parasite SSU rRNA and that serves as an internal control and competitive quantitation standard. We calibrated the assay for quantitation of sporozoites by making a standard curve with RNA from purified and counted sporozoites. The assay accurately measured sporozoite number with a linear range of at least three orders of magnitude in a single reaction. Some applications and limitations of the assay are discussed.


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