Case Report

Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 280-284

First online:

Applicability of molecular markers to determine parasitic infection origins in the animal trade: a case study from Sarcoptes mites in wildebeest

  • Samer AlasaadAffiliated withInstitute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (IEU), University of ZürichEstación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)Dipartimento di Produzioni Animali, Epidemiologia ed Ecologia, Università degli Studi di Torino Email author 
  • , Rolf K. SchusterAffiliated withCentral Veterinary Research Laboratory
  • , Francis GakuyaAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary and Capture Services, Kenya Wildlife Service
  • , Mohamed TheneyanAffiliated withAl Wasl Veterynary Clinic
  • , Michael J. JowersAffiliated withEstación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
  • , Sandra MaioneAffiliated withDipartimento di Produzioni Animali, Epidemiologia ed Ecologia, Università degli Studi di Torino
  • , Annarita Molinar MinAffiliated withDipartimento di Produzioni Animali, Epidemiologia ed Ecologia, Università degli Studi di Torino
  • , Ramón C. SoriguerAffiliated withEstación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
  • , Luca RossiAffiliated withDipartimento di Produzioni Animali, Epidemiologia ed Ecologia, Università degli Studi di Torino

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Abstract

The development of non-manipulative molecular tools to determine the origin of parasite infections in the animal trade (if infected before their export or import) is of great interest worldwide for both the animal trade industry and for animal welfare. Molecular tools have a wide range of applications, including forensic identification, wildlife preservation and conservation, veterinary public health protection, and food safety. Nonetheless, genetic markers were not reported to detect the source of infection in the animal trade. In this study we tested the applicability of molecular tools to detect the origin of Sarcoptes mite infection of wildebeest imported by the United Arab Emirate (UAE) from Tanzania. Using one multiplex of seven microsatellite markers and control samples from UAE, Kenya and Italy, we demonstrated the usefulness of the multiplex STR-typing as a molecular tool of pivotal interest to help commercialist, authorities, and conservationists, to identify the geographical origin of parasitic infections.

Keywords

Sarcoptes scabiei Genetic structure Microsatellite markers Forensic parasitology Infection source Tanzania UAE Kenya Italy