Polymerase chain reaction assay based on a highly repeated sequence of Schistosoma haematobium: a potential tool for monitoring schistosome-infested water.

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  • 1 Kuvin Centre, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. hambu@cc.huji.ac.il

We have cloned from Schistosoma haematobium genome a repeated sequence, the DraI repeated sequence, which consists of tandemly arranged 121-bp-long units and which is highly abundant (approximately 15% of the S. haematobium genome). By these features, the DraI repeat is similar to the Sm1-7 sequence of Schistosoma mansoni previously described by us. However, their nucleotide sequences are profoundly different. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers were designed on the basis of the DraI sequence information and were used in a PCR assay by which as little as 10 fg of schistosomal DNA as well as individual cercariae were detected. The DraI repeat cross-hybridized with DNA from Schistosoma bovis, Schistosoma magrebowiei, Schistosoma mattheei, Schistosoma curassoni, and Schistosoma intercalatum, but not with DNA from S. mansoni nor from Trichobilharzia ocellata and Echinostoma sp. A potential value of this PCR assay is suggested for monitoring free-living cercariae and infected snails only in bodies free of cross-hybridizing species.