DIRECT AND SENSITIVE DETECTION OF TRYPANOSOMA EVANSI BY POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION
The mechanically transmitted haemoflagellate,Trypanosoma evansicauses 'surra', a wasting disease of domestic animals and is highly endemic in distribution in Southeast Asia. The detection ofT. evansiis important for improving the epizootiological and animal health status
of the region. The specificity and sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using oligonucleotide primers constructed fromT. evansirepetitive DNA sequences were studied in the present investigation. Using the assay, it was possible to amplify template DNA ofT. evansiderived from buffaloes,
camels and horses to a threshold sensitivity level of 0.5 pg and to detect DNA from as few as five organisms in 10 (l crude blood samples. Following experimental infection of calves with 5 × 105T. evansi, positive signals could be observed as early as 12 h post-infection. DNAs from two
common haemoflagellates of cattle,Babesia bigeminaandTheileria annulatawere not amplified with the primers.