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Poly merase chain reaction for detecting Onchocerca volvulus in pools of blackflies

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The detection of Onchocerca volvulus infected simuliids or blackflies is routinely done by dissection and microscopic examination of individual flies, but this method is tedious and time consuming. Here we describe a method of detecting single O. volvulus infected blackflies in pools of uninfected blackflies. Using a PCR with Onchocerca specific primers it is possible to reproducibly detect one heavily infected blackfly in a pool of 80 flies, or to detect one blackfly inoculated with one microfilaria in a pool of 20 flies. With the method described large numbers of blackflies can be rapidly screened for the presence of O. volvulus infected flies.
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Keywords: Onchocerca volvulus; PCR; blackfly

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal Tropical Institute, Department of Biomedical Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Centre for Health Studies, Guatemala City, Guatemala 3: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: 1996-08-01

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