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DIFFERENTIATION OF SCHISTOSOMA HAEMATOBIUM FROM RELATED SCHISTOSOMES BY PCR AMPLIFYING AN INTER-REPEAT SEQUENCE

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  • 1 Kuvin Center, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; Division of Vector Borne Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi Kenya

Schistosoma haematobium infects nearly 150 million people, primarily in Africa, and is transmitted by select species of local bulinid snails. These snails can host other related trematode species as well, so that effective detection and monitoring of snails infected with S. haematobium requires a successful differentiation between S. haematobium and any closely related schistosome species. To enable differential detection of S. haematobium DNA by simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we designed and tested primer pairs from numerous newly identified Schistosoma DNA repeat sequences. However, all pairs tested were found unsuitable for this purpose. Differentiation of S. haematobium from S. bovis, S. mattheei, S. curassoni, and S. intercalatum (but not from S. margrebowiei) was ultimately accomplished by PCR using one primer from a newly identified repeat, Sh110, and a second primer from a known schistosomal splice-leader sequence. For evaluation of residual S. haematobium transmission after control interventions, this differentiation tool will enable accurate monitoring of infected snails in areas where S. haematobium is sympatric with the most prevalent other schistosome species.

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