Volume 69, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Diagnosis of infection in dogs by detecting adult worms recovered post mortem or purged from the intestines after treatment with arecoline is not suitable for mass screening. Large-scale diagnosis by detection of copro-antigens is useful but only with relatively high intensity infections, and only by genus. To provide a more sensitive and specific diagnosis, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed, that amplified a target repeated sequence (EgG1 III) newly identified in the genome of the common sheep strain of . This repeated sequence consists of approximately 6,900 copies, arranged in tandem, in groups of 2–6 repeats. The corresponding primers used in the PCR easily detected a single egg with no cross-amplification of DNA from closely related cestodes, including and spp. Fecal samples from naturally infected dogs, with 2–10,000 worms at necropsy, were all PCR positive, while or spp. positive controls as well as non-endemic controls were all PCR negative. This copro-PCR assay was demonstrated to be 100% specific and also detected all necropsy-positive -infected dogs. It is suggested that this copro-PCR assay has the potential for pre-mortem diagnosis of infection even in areas where and are co-endemic.


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  • Received : 13 Mar 2003
  • Accepted : 27 May 2003

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