DAO 45:109-114 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao045109

Comparison of single-round polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pepsin-trypsin digest (PTD) methods for detection of Myxobolus cerebralis

George J. Schisler1,*, Eric P. Bergersen1, Peter G. Walker2, John Wood3, Janet K. Epp3

1Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, 201 Wagar Building, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526, USA
2Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Aquatic Animal Health Lab, PO Box 128 Brush, Colorado 80723, USA
3Pisces Molecular LLC., 5311 Western Avenue Suite E, Boulder, Colorado 80301, USA

ABSTRACT: Single-round polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and pepsin-trypsin digest (PTD) methods were compared for the detection of Myxobolus cerebralis. Parallel tests were conducted on a total of 1743 free-ranging and 400 hatchery-reared salmonids. Concurrent results were found in 84.6% of the free-ranging fish samples, and 83.5% of the hatchery samples. PCR identified M. cerebralis more frequently than did PTD, and did so in many geographic locations previously considered free of the parasite. Average myxospore count by PTD among both free-ranging and hatchery fish increased significantly (p < 0.001) with a subjective evaluation of amplicon staining intensity.


KEY WORDS: Whirling disease · Myxobolus cerebralis · Pepsin-trypsin digest (PTD) · Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) · Testing methods


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