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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 98:155-162 (2012)  -  DOI:

Non-lethal detection of DNA from Cichlidogyrus spp. (Monogenea, Ancyrocephalinae) in gill mucus of the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Juan Pablo Ek-Huchim1, Isabel Jimenez-Garcia2, Juan Antonio Pérez-Vega1, Rossanna Rodríguez-Canul1,*

1Laboratorio de Inmunología y Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional-Unidad Mérida, Km 6 Antigua Carretera a Progreso, CORDEMEX, Mérida, Yucatán, 97310 México
2Instituto Tecnológico de Boca del Rio, Km 12 Carretera Veracruz-Córdoba, Boca del Río, Veracruz, C.P. 94290 México

ABSTRACT: Infection of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus by monogeneans of the genus Cichlidogyrus is harmful. Currently, diagnosis of this infection is based on invasive techniques and the identification of isolated parasites by their morphology. To facilitate diagnosis, we have developed a non-lethal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detection of Cichlidogyrus spp. DNA in the gill mucus of O. niloticus, using 5 pairs of specific primers based on Cichlidogyrus sclerosus 28S rRNA (Cicly 1 to Cicly 5) which generate fragments of approximately 188, 180, 150, 159 and 189 bp, respectively. PCR specificity was tested using genomic DNA extracted individually from 175 isolated Cichlidogyrus spp., 75 Gyrodactylus cichlidarum and 75 endopararasitic Enterogyrus spp., as well as from 75 protozoans Trichodina spp. The Cicly primers were used to detect Cichlidogyrus spp. DNA in mucus from the gills of 23 Nile tilapia confirmed to be infected with the parasite. Negative controls consisted of 45 uninfected Nile tilapia. The limit of sensitivity of the assay was 1.2 ng of purified parasite DNA. The Cicly primers did not amplify DNA from the mucus of non-infected Nile tilapia, G. cichlidarum, Trichodina spp. or Enterogyrus spp. In all cases, the sensitivity and specificity of the test were 100%. The sequences of all the amplified fragments showed a high similarity to that of the 28S rRNA region of C. sclerosus (93 to 100% identical to GenBank Accession No. DQ157660.1). We provide evidence for a safe and non-invasive DNA-based diagnostic method for the presence of Cichlidogyrus in the gill mucus of O. niloticus.

KEY WORDS: Diagnosis · Ectoparasite · Monogenean · PCR

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Cite this article as: Ek-Huchim JP, Jimenez-Garcia I, Pérez-Vega JA, Rodríguez-Canul R (2012) Non-lethal detection of DNA from Cichlidogyrus spp. (Monogenea, Ancyrocephalinae) in gill mucus of the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Dis Aquat Org 98:155-162.

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