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Development of a real-time PCR assay with fluorophore-labelled hybridization probes for detection of Schistosoma mekongi in infected snails and rat feces

  • O. SANPOOL (a1) (a2), P. M. INTAPAN (a1) (a2), T. THANCHOMNANG (a1) (a3), P. SRI-AROON (a4), V. LULITANOND (a1) (a5), L. SADAOW (a1) (a2) and W. MALEEWONG (a1) (a2)...


Schistosoma mekongi, a blood-dwelling fluke, is a water-borne parasite that is found in communities along the lower Mekong River basin, i.e. Cambodia and Lao People's Democratic Republic. This study developed a real-time PCR assay combined with melting-curve analysis to detect S. mekongi in laboratory setting conditions, in experimentally infected snails, and in fecal samples of infected rats. The procedure is based on melting-curve analysis of a hybrid between an amplicon from S. mekongi mitochondrion sequence, the 260 bp sequence specific to S. mekongi, and specific fluorophore-labelled probes. This method could detect as little as a single cercaria artificially introduced into a pool of 10 non-infected snails, a single cercaria in filtered paper, and 2 eggs inoculated in 100 mg of non-infected rat feces. All S. mekongi-infected snails and fecal samples from infected rats were positive. Non-infected snails, non-infected rat feces, and genomic DNA of other parasites were negative. The method gave high sensitivity and specificity, and could be applied as a fast and reliable tool for cercarial location in water environments in endemic areas and for epidemiological studies and eradication programmes for intermediate hosts.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. Tel: +66 43 348387. Fax: +66 43202475. E-mail:


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Development of a real-time PCR assay with fluorophore-labelled hybridization probes for detection of Schistosoma mekongi in infected snails and rat feces

  • O. SANPOOL (a1) (a2), P. M. INTAPAN (a1) (a2), T. THANCHOMNANG (a1) (a3), P. SRI-AROON (a4), V. LULITANOND (a1) (a5), L. SADAOW (a1) (a2) and W. MALEEWONG (a1) (a2)...


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