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Comparison of Traditional and PCR Methods during Screening for and Confirmation of Aspiculuris tetraptera in a Mouse Facility


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Pinworm detection in laboratory rodents typically is accomplished by using the tape test or various modifications of fecal flotation test to detect eggs. Direct examination of intestinal contents remains the 'gold standard' for pinworm detection, with the limitation of euthanasia of animals. Here, we compare traditional and real-time PCR methodologies during screening for and confirming the presence of Aspiculuris tetraptera. Two sets of pooled fecal samples collected from each of 521 microisolation cages in a mouse facility suspected to be pinworm-positive were tested by PCR and fecal flotation methods. The number of PCR-positive cages was 48 (9.2%) compared with 5 (0.96%) by the fecal flotation method. All of the cages determined to be positive by fecal flotation were positive by PCR. We evaluated 8 positive cages containing 26 mice from the screening group 5 wk later to confirm the initial findings; for 7 of these cages, PCR results from the initial screening were confirmed by fecal centrifugation concentration (FCC) or direct worm detection. Among the 26 mice, 4 were pinworm-positive by FCC, 5 by maceration, and 16 by PCR. All 4 mice positive by FCC were positive by PCR; PCR was positive for 7 of the 9 mice in which pinworms were detected by FCC or maceration. Our study demonstrates that real-time PCR for survival testing of mice for A. tetraptera effectively augments current detection methods for quarantine and routine health monitoring.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Animal Diagnostic Services, Charles River Labs, Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA. [email protected] 2: Division of Veterinary Resources, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA 3: Research Animal Diagnostic Services, Charles River Labs, Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: November 15, 2011

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