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Broad-range PCR-TTGE for the first-line detection of bacterial pathogen DNA in ticks.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Veterinary research
Publication Date
Volume
37
Issue
2
Pages
245–253
Identifiers
PMID: 16472523
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Ticks are known or suspected vectors for a wide range of bacterial pathogens. One of the first steps for tick-borne risk assessment is the detection of these pathogens in their vectors. In the present study, a broad-range PCR amplification of the eubacterial gene encoding the 16S rRNA gene combined with Temporal Temperature Gradient gel Electrophoresis (TTGE) was evaluated as a method allowing the one-step detection of bacterial pathogen DNA in ticks. Firstly, DNA extracts from bacteria known to be tick-borne pathogens, i.e., Borrelia burgdorferi lato sensu, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Spotted Fever Group (SFG) Rickettsia spp., were used to establish a TTGE pathogen DNA reference marker. Secondly, we used broad-range PCR-TTGE to detect the presence of DNA from these three pathogens in 55 DNA extracts from pools of 10 nymphal Ixodes ricinus ticks, which have been previously shown to carry DNA from at least one of those bacteria by specific PCR. Among the 20 B. burgdorferi specific-PCR samples, 15 (75%) were also found to be positive using PCR-TTGE. Sixteen of the seventeen (94%) Rickettsia spp. PCR-specific samples were positive using PCR-TTGE detection and all PCR-specific positive extracts (11/11, 100%) for A. phagocytophilum were also positive using PCR-TTGE. Moreover, we identified unexpected bacterial sequences that were not related to any of the three pathogens such as a sequence related to Spiroplasma sp. Thus, broad-range PCR-TTGE allowed the single step detection of DNA from up to 3 pathogens in the same co-infected samples as well as detection of DNA from unexpected bacteria.

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