Section 60
Chapter 59,117

The utility of diversity profiling using Illumina 18S rRNA gene amplicon deep sequencing to detect and discriminate Toxoplasma gondii among the cyst-forming coccidia

Cooper, M.K.; Phalen, D.N.; Donahoe, S.L.; Rose, K.; Šlapeta, J.

Veterinary Parasitology 216: 38-45


ISSN/ISBN: 1873-2550
PMID: 26801593
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.12.011
Accession: 059116652

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Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has the capacity to screen a single DNA sample and detect pathogen DNA from thousands of host DNA sequence reads, making it a versatile and informative tool for investigation of pathogens in diseased animals. The technique is effective and labor saving in the initial identification of pathogens, and will complement conventional diagnostic tests to associate the candidate pathogen with a disease process. In this report, we investigated the utility of the diversity profiling NGS approach using Illumina small subunit ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene amplicon deep sequencing to detect Toxoplasma gondii in previously confirmed cases of toxoplasmosis. We then tested the diagnostic approach with species-specific PCR genotyping, histopathology and immunohistochemistry of toxoplasmosis in a Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) to systematically characterise the disease and associate causality. We show that the Euk7A/Euk570R primer set targeting the V1-V3 hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene can be used as a species-specific assay for cyst-forming coccidia and discriminate T. gondii. Overall, the approach is cost-effective and improves diagnostic decision support by narrowing the differential diagnosis list with more certainty than was previously possible. Furthermore, it supplements the limitations of cryptic protozoan morphology and surpasses the need for species-specific PCR primer combinations.

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