Detection of viable Giardia cysts by amplification of heat shock- induced mRNA

Morteza Abbaszadegan, Mary S. Huber, Charles P. Gerba, Ian L. Pepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Primers obtained from gene sequences coding for heat shock proteins (HSP) were used to specifically detect enteric protozoans of the genus Giardia. The HSP primers amplified Giardia DNA or the corresponding RNA sequences obtained from lysed cysts and gave a 163-bp product. Since the presence of the product did not indicate whether the cysts were viable, these amplifications are a presence/absence test only. In contrast, amplification of heat shock-induced mRNA utilizing the same HSP primers was indicative of viable Giardia cysts. The limit of sensitivity of the presence/absence test was 1 cyst, whereas for the viability test it was 10 cysts. Thus, viable Giardia cysts can be rapidly and specifically detected with great sensitivity through the use of PCR amplifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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