Volume 73, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Filarial nematode parasites are a serious cause of morbidity in humans and animals. Identification of filarial infection using traditional morphologic criteria can be difficult and lead to misdiagnosis. We report on a polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP)–based method to detect and differentiate a broad range of filarial species in a single PCR. The first internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) along with the flanking 18S and 5.8S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were isolated and cloned from , , and . Sequence analysis identified conserved sites in the 18S and 5.8S rDNA sequence that could be used as universal priming sites to generate ITS1-distinctive PCR products that were useful for distinguishing filariae at the genus level. The addition of a digestion of the ITS1 PCR product with the restriction endonuclease I generated a fragment profile that allowed differentiation down to the species level for , , , , and . The PCR-RFLP of ITS1 rDNA will be useful in diagnosing and differentiating filarial parasites in human, animal reservoir hosts, and mosquito vectors in disease-endemic areas.


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  • Received : 29 Apr 2005
  • Accepted : 27 May 2005

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