DAO 89:199-207 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02204

Development of a real-time PCR assay for identification and quantification of the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis

Esteban Soto1, Kimberly Bowles2, Denise Fernandez1, John P. Hawke1,*

1Department of Pathobiological Sciences and 2Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Dr., Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Members of the genus Francisella are small Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacteria that cause francisellosis in a wide variety of fish species worldwide. F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis has been recently described as a warm-water pathogen of tilapia Oreochromis spp. In this study, a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) TaqMan probe assay was developed to rapidly and accurately detect and quantify F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis from fish tissue. The target region of the assay was the F. tularensis iglC gene homologue previously found in F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis. Probe specificity was confirmed by the lack of signal and cross-reactivity with 12 common fish pathogens, 2 subspecies of F. tularensis, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis, and tilapia tissue. The range of linearity was determined to be 50 fg to 1.4 mg, and the lower limit of detection was 50 fg of DNA (equivalent to ~25 genome equivalents) per reaction. A similar sensitivity was observed with DNA extracted from a mixture of F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis and fish tissue. The assay was also able to detect and quantify F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis from the spleens of experimentally infected tilapia. No signal was observed in the control groups. In conclusion, we have developed a highly sensitive and specific assay that can be used for the specific identification and quantification of F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis.


KEY WORDS: Francisella · Tilapia · qPCR


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Cite this article as: Soto E, Bowles K, Fernandez D, Hawke JP (2010) Development of a real-time PCR assay for identification and quantification of the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis. Dis Aquat Org 89:199-207. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02204

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