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Sensitivity evaluation of a single-step PCR assay using Ehrlichia canis p28 gene as a target and its application in diagnosis of canine ehrlichiosis

Avaliação da sensibilidade da PCR em uma etapa com base no gene p28 de Ehrlichia canis e sua aplicação no diagnóstico da erliquiose canina

The aim of this study was to optimize a PCR assay that amplifies an 843 pb fragment from the p28 gene of Ehrlichia canis and compare it with two other PCR methods used to amplify portions of the 16S rRNA and dsb genes of Ehrlichia. Blood samples were collected from dogs suspected of having a positive diagnosis for canine ehrlichiosis. Amplification of the p28 gene by PCR produced an 843-bp fragment and this assay could detect DNA from one gene copy among 1 billion cells. All positive samples detected by the p28-based PCR were also positive by the 16S rRNA nested-PCR and also by the dsb-based PCR. Among the p28-based PCR negative samples, 55.3% were co-negatives, but 27.6% were positive in 16S rRNA and dsb based PCR assays. The p28-based PCR seems to be a useful test for the molecular detection of E. canis, however improvements in this PCR sensitivity are desired, so that it can become an important alternative in the diagnosis of canine ehrlichiosis.

Ehrlichia canis; PCR; p28; dsb gene; 16S rRNA gene

Colégio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinária FCAV/UNESP - Departamento de Patologia Veterinária, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, Zona Rural, , 14884-900 Jaboticabal - SP, Brasil, Fone: (16) 3209-7100 RAMAL 7934 - Jaboticabal - SP - Brazil