DNA probes for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in snails

Heussler, Volker; Kaufmann, H; Strahm, D; Liz, J; Dobbelaere, D (1993). DNA probes for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in snails. Molecular and cellular probes, 7(4), pp. 261-267. Elsevier 10.1006/mcpr.1993.1039

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Fasciola hepatica, also called the large liver fluke, is a trematode which can infect most mammals. Monitoring the infection rate of snails, which function as intermediate hosts and harbour larval stages of F. hepatica, is an important component of epidemiological studies on fascioliasis. For this purpose, DNA probes were generated which can be used for the detection of F. hepatica larvae in snails. Four highly repetitive DNA fragments were cloned in a plasmid vector and tested by Southern blot hybridization to the DNA of various trematodes for specificity and sensitivity. The probes Fhr-I, Fhr-II and Fhr-III hybridized only to F. hepatica DNA. Fhr-IV contained ribosomal RNA gene sequences and cross-hybridize with the DNA from various other trematode species. Squash blot analysis showed that the different probes were able to detect the parasite larvae in trematode-infected snails even as isolated single larvae. No signals were obtained in squash blots of uninfected snails. Probes Fhr-I, Fhr-II and Fhr-III are thus useful specific tools for studying the epidemiology of fascioliasis. The probe Fhr-IV, because of its broader spectrum, can be used to detect the larvae of a wide range of trematode species of waterbirds, which are the causative agents of swimmer's itch.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology > Malaria
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Heussler, Volker


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Volker Heussler

Date Deposited:

20 Jun 2016 11:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56

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