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Characterization of an Onchocerca-Specific DNA Clone from Onchocerca Volvulus

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  • 1 Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • 2 * Onchocerciasis Control Programme, B.P. 549, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

A genomic library of a savanna isolate of Onchocerca volvulus was screened to detect recombinant plasm ids containing highly repeated DNA sequences of this parasite. Four recombinant plasmids were identified which hybridized specifically to Onchocerca DNA, but not to DNA from humans, black flies, Brugia malayi, B. pahangi, or Wuchereria bancrofti. The recombinant plasm ids had a low level of homology to Dirofilaria immitis. All recombinant plasmids contain related DNA sequences based on Southern hybridization analysis. Sequences related to these recombinant plasmids are present in different geographic isolates of O. volvulus and O. ochengi, an animal parasite. Two of the recombinant plasmids contain sequences also found in O. lienalis. One recombinant plasmid, puOvs3, has been characterized in detail, including DNA sequence determination. Radiolabeled puOvs3 is able to detect 100 pg of genomic DNA isolated from O. volvulus worms from both savanna and forest regions. It can differentiate O. volvulus from O. ochengi by Southern blot analysis.

Author Notes

Address reprint requests to: Dr. Dyann Wirth, Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

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