Comparison of traditional and PCR methods during screening for and confirmation of Aspiculuris tetraptera in a mouse facility

Vandana S. Dole, Julia Zaias, Danielle M. Kyricopoulos-Cleasby, Laila A. Banu, Linda L. Waterman, Kevin Sanders, Kenneth S. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Pinworm detection in laboratory rodents typically is accomplished by using the tape test or various modifications of fecal flotation test to detect eggs. Direct examination of intestinal contents remains the 'gold standard' for pinworm detection, with the limitation of euthanasia of animals. Here, we compare traditional and real-time PCR methodologies during screening for and confirming the presence of Aspiculuris tetraptera. Two sets of pooled fecal samples collected from each of 521 microisolation cages in a mouse facility suspected to be pinworm-positive were tested by PCR and fecal flotation methods. The number of PCR-positive cages was 48 (9.2%) compared with 5 (0.96%) by the fecal flotation method. All of the cages determined to be positive by fecal flotation were positive by PCR. We evaluated 8 positive cages containing 26 mice from the screening group 5 wk later to confirm the initial findings; for 7 of these cages, PCR results from the initial screening were confirmed by fecal centrifugation concentration (FCC) or direct worm detection. Among the 26 mice, 4 were pinworm-positive by FCC, 5 by maceration, and 16 by PCR. All 4 mice positive by FCC were positive by PCR; PCR was positive for 7 of the 9 mice in which pinworms were detected by FCC or maceration. Our study demonstrates that real-time PCR for survival testing of mice for A. tetraptera effectively augments current detection methods for quarantine and routine health monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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