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Until now, four species of the Trichinella genus have been identified in Europe: Trichinella spiralis, T. nativa, T. britovi and T. pseudospiralis. The aim of this work was to establish a sound polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method to differentiate these four species using mitochondrial rDNA as a reliable genetic marker and to evaluate the sensitivity of this method. Full-length DNA sequences coding for the small and large mitochondrial rRNA (mt-rrnS and mt-rrnL) of the four species are described. A multiplex PCR was designed and successfully tested on 24 European isolates. As few as one larva, or 100 pg of genomic DNA was detected, providing equivalent sensitivity to previously described PCR methods. The PCR-based method of mitochondrial rDNA amplification was thereby established as a sensitive and reproductive diagnostic method for the four European Trichinella species.
Newborn larvae (NBL) and adult (Ad) stage-specifically expressed genes or members of gene families of Trichinella spiralis were identified by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH)†. Six cDNA clones were identified as NBL stage-specific, including 1 member of the T. spiralis gene family encoding glutamic acid-rich proteins, 2 clones encoding novel serine proteases, 2 closely related clones encoding proteins that are members of a deoxyribonuclease II (DNase II)-like family and 1 clone with no similarity to known genes. Four stage-specific clones encoding homologues of retinoid X receptor, caveolin, C2H2 type zinc finger protein and a putative protein with no homology to known sequences were obtained from 3-day-old adult worms. One gene specifically up-regulated in the 5-day-old adult worms encoding a putative cuticle collagen was also identified.
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