avian & livestock assay data sheet
code: X0014 - Ultrasensitive qualitative screen for
by real time PCR. This assay detects but does not differentiate
Plasmodium species, including
P. falciparum, P. malariae, P.
vivax, P. ovale, P. knowlesi, P. fieldi, P. hylobati, P.
juxtanucleare, P. yoelii, P. brasilianum, P. cynomolgi, P. inui,
P. schwetzi, P. reichenowi, P. eyles, P.jefferyi, P. youngi, P.
pitheci, P. silvaticum, P. coatneyi, P. fragile, P. simiovale,
P. gonderi, P. simium, P. cathemerium, P. relictum
Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus
Plasmodium. The parasites are transmitted by infected
Anopheles mosquitos. As
the infected female mosquito takes a blood meal, it injects the
parasite, which travels in the bloodstream to the liver. Inside
the liver, the organism undergoes several developmental changes
leading to the release of a large number of merozoites. These
merozoites invade the red blood cells. The asexual stages often
seen in blood films are young trophozoites (also known as “ring
forms”), mature trophozoites, and the dividing schizonts that
yield the merozoites for a new generation.
Many species of
Plasmodium infect birds (Jones & Shellam, 1999). Some are
host species specific; others infect a range of avian species.
P. relictum has become a particular problem in situations
where naive birds are exposed to mosquito vectors - for example,
penguins in zoos, and endemic species of Hawaiian birds which
have only recently been exposed to invasive mosquitos.
Birds infected with
Plasmodium are often subclinical, making
identification of carriers extremely difficult.
Parasitemia in infected birds can fluctuate dramatically over
short periods, so Plasmodium screening should be
performed at multiple time points. In particular, stress or
other immune-suppressive events may trigger an increase in
parasitemia from previously undetectable levels.
sequences of many species of
infect birds are not yet fully characterized. However, assay
X0014 is designed to detect a broad range of
based on current sequence information, but to avoid
cross-reaction with non-Plasmodium
species which could potentially be found in avian blood.
malaria screening and diagnosis relied on microscopic
examination of blood smears. This method is fast and cheap but
has a very low sensitivity. Successful detection in blood smears
also depends on collecting the specimen at the peak of the
parasitemia. Antibody detection can be used to diagnose the
disease but paired serum samples several weeks apart are
required in order to identify actively infected animals, making
rapid diagnosis impossible. Furthermore, most serology testing
currently available targets the Plasmodium species that
infect humans, such as P. malariae, P. falciparum, P. vivax
and P. ovale. Reagents used for these human serology tests
are not appropriate for screening birds. Molecular detection by
PCR is a rapid, specific and sensitive method for accurately
diagnosing and identifying carriers.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Plasmodium
Help ensure that bird populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of malaria among a flock
Minimize human exposure to
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Jones, H.I. &
Shellam, G.R. 1999. Blood parasites in penguins, and their
potential impact on conservation. Marine Ornithology
0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top)
tube; or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or preserved liver or spleen
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days