Korean J Parasitol.  2017 Jun;55(3):333-336. 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.3.333.

PCR Identification and Phylogenetic Analysis of Trichomonas gallinae from Domestic Pigeons in Guangzhou, China

  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510642, P. R. China. rqlin@scau.edu.cn
  • 2Guangdong Vocational College of Science and Trade, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510430, P. R. China.
  • 3Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Prevention and Control of Guangdong, Guangzhou 510642, P. R. China.


Avian trichomoniasis caused by Trichomonas gallinae is a serious protozoan disease worldwide. The domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) is the main host for T. gallinae and plays an important role in the spread of the disease. Based on the internal transcribed spacers of nuclear ribosomal DNA of this parasite, a pair of primers (TgF2/TgR2) was designed and used to develop a PCR assay for the diagnosis of T. gallinae infection in domestic pigeons. This approach allowed the identification of T. gallinae, and no amplicons were produced when using DNA from other common avian pathogens. The minimum amount of DNA detectable by the specific PCR assay developed in this study was 15 pg. Clinical samples from Guangzhou, China, were examined using this PCR assay and a standard microscopy method, and their molecular characteristics were determined by phylogenetic analysis. All of the T. gallinae-positive samples detected by microscopic examination were also detected as positive by the PCR assay. Most of the samples identified as negative by microscopic examination were detected as T. gallinae positive by the PCR assay and were confirmed by sequencing. The positive samples of T. gallinae collected from Guangzhou, China, were identified as T. gallinae genotype B by sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, providing relevant data for studying the ecology and population genetic structures of trichomonads and for the prevention and control of the diseases they cause.


Trichomonas gallinae; pigeon; PCR; internal transcribed spacers; phylogenetic analysis
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