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Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation






American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

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A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used to detect early stages of Myxobolus cerebralis in caudal and adipose fin samples from rainbow trout (RT). To determine sensitivity, groups of 10 RT were exposed to 2,000 M. cerebralis triactinomyxons/fish for 1 hour at 15 degrees C and subsequently moved to clean recirculating water. Fish were held for 2 and 6 hours and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 30, and 60 days before sampling by nonlethal fin biopsy. Nested PCR performed on fin clips showed that M. cerebralis DNA was detected in caudal fin tissue in 100% of fish up to 5 days postexposure. At days 7 and 10 postexposure, 80% of fish were positive, and at 60 days postexposure, 60% of fish were positive using this technique. Conversely, testing on adipose fin clips proved less sensitive, as positive fish dropped from 80% at day 7 to below 20% at day 10 postinfection. Since detection of M. cerebralis infection using caudal fin samples coupled with nested PCR is an effective method for detection of early parasite stages, use of this technique provides for accurate, nonlethal testing.

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