PCR test for detecting Taenia solium cysticercosis in pig carcasses
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was employed to detect Taenia solium DNA in muscle lesions for validation of the meat inspection results of slaughtered pigs. Two sets of oligonucleotide primers, one targeted against the large subunit rRNA gene (TBR primers) and the other targeted against cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (Cox1 primers) of T. solium were used in this study. On reactivity in PCR test, the TBR primers and the Cox1 primers yielded products of 286 and 984 bp, respectively, in cysticercosis positive cases. Both the sets of primers were found to be highly specific, since they did not yield any PCR product in negative controls. A total of 225 pig carcasses were screened for cysticercosis by meat inspection, out of which 25 carcasses with visible cysts (16 viable and 9 degenerated cysts) were also confirmed to be positive for cysticercosis in PCR test. However, out of the 35 carcasses with suspected lesions on meat inspection, only two were found to be positive for cysticercosis in PCR test. The detection limits for both the primer sets were analyzed. The TBR primer set could detect up to 10 pg of cysticercus DNA, whereas the Cox1 primer set could detect only up to 1 ng. It is evident from the study that PCR test is an efficient tool for validation of meat inspection results and also to rule out ambiguity in carcass judgment of suspected cases of porcine cysticercosis.
KeywordsCysticercus cellulosae Detection limits Oligonucleotide primers PCR Porcine cysticercosis Taenia solium
The authors are thankful to Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati, India, for providing the facilities to carry out the research work. Our special thanks go to Dr. Ruy de Souza Lino Junior for his technical suggestions.
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