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Molecular and parasitological tools for the study of Ascaridia galli population dynamics in chickens

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Experiments were first conducted to compare and evaluate different methods of Ascaridia galli larval recovery from the chicken intestine. The number of larvae recovered from the intestinal wall of chickens infected with 1000 embryonated A. galli eggs and killed 15 days post infection (p.i.) by three methods (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid [EDTA], pepsin digestion and scraping) were compared. The EDTA and pepsin digestion were found to be the most efficient methods with no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the number of recovered larvae between the two. Subsequently, three different A. galli cohorts were established using the polymerase chain reaction-linked restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. A 533-bp long region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene of the mitochondrial DNA was targeted and 22 A. galli females were allocated to three different haplotypes. The four females with the highest embryonation rate from each haplotype group (total 12 females) were selected and used to inoculate each of 12 chickens with a dose of 1000 embryonated eggs. The chickens were killed 15 days p.i. and A. galli larvae were recovered from the small intestinal wall by the EDTA method and by sieving the lumen content on a 90 µm sieve. DNA of 40 larvae from each of the three different haplotypes was extracted using a worm lysis buffer, and PCR-RFLP analysis of these larvae revealed the same haplotype as that of their maternal parent. The identification of distinguishable cohorts may be a powerful tool in population studies of parasite turnover within the animal host.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Danish Centre for Experimental Parasitology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 2: Section for Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 3: Genetics and Bioinformatics, Department of Animal and Veterinary Basic Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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