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Development of a quantitative PCR for the detection of Rangelia vitalii

Paim, Francine Chimelo, Santos, Andrea Pires dos, Nascimento, Naíla Cannes do, Lasta, Camila Serina, Oliveira, Simone Tostes, Messick, Joanne Belle, Lopes, Sonia Terezinha dos Anjos
Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.217 pp. 113-117
Babesia canis, Ehrlichia canis, Leishmania, analytical specificity, blood, blood sampling, cross reaction, detection limit, dogs, genes, plasmids, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, Brazil
The aim of this study was to develop and validate a SYBR® Green qPCR assay to detect and quantify a fragment of the 18S rRNA gene of Rangelia vitalii in canine blood. Repeatability of the qPCR was determined by the intra- and inter-assay variations. The qPCR showed efficiency of E=101.30 (r2=0.996), detecting as few as one copy of plasmid containing the target DNA. Specificity of the assay was performed using DNA samples of Babesia canis, B. gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis, E. ewingii and Leishmania sp. No cross-reactivity was observed. Field samples consisting of blood from 265 dogs from Porto Alegre, Brazil were also tested. A total of 24 (9.05%) samples were positive for R. vitalii. Amplicons of 50% of positive samples were confirmed to be R. vitalii by Sanger sequencing. The positive samples had an average of 3.5×105 organisms/mL of blood (range: 1.27×103–1.88×106) based on the plasmid-generated standard curve. In conclusion, the SYBR® Green qPCR assay developed herein is sensitive and specific and can be used as a diagnostic tool for detection and quantification of R. vitalii in canine blood samples.