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Detection of Dientamoeba fragilis in animal faeces using species specific real time PCR assay
- Chan, Douglas, Barratt, Joel, Roberts, Tamalee, Phillips, Owen, Šlapeta, Jan, Ryan, Una, Marriott, Deborah, Harkness, John, Ellis, John, Stark, Damien
- Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.227 pp. 42-47
- Trichomonadida, case studies, cross reaction, dogs, feces, host range, parasites, pets, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Australia
- Dientamoeba fragilis is a potentially pathogenic, enteric, protozoan parasite with a worldwide distribution. While clinical case reports and prevalence studies appear regularly in the scientific literature, little attention has been paid to this parasite’s biology, life cycle, host range, and possible transmission routes. Overall, these aspects of Dientamoeba biology remain poorly understood at best. In this study, a total of 420 animal samples, collected from Australia, were surveyed for the presence of Dientamoeba fragilis using PCR. Several PCR assays were evaluated for sensitivity and specificity. Two previously published PCR methods demonstrated cross reactivity with other trichomonads commonly found in animal samples. Only one assay exhibited excellent specificity. Using this assay D. fragilis was detected from one dog and one cat sample. This is the first report of D. fragilis from these animals and highlights the role companion animals may play in D. fragilis transmission. This study demonstrated that some published D. fragilis molecular assays cross react with other closely related trichomonads and consequently are not suitable for animal prevalence studies.