Multiplex, DNase-free one-step reverse transcription PCR for Plasmodium 18S rRNA and spliced gametocyte-specific mRNAs.

Hanron, AE; Billman, ZP; Seilie, AM; Olsen, TM; Fishbaugher, M; Chang, M; Rueckle, T; Andenmatten, N; Greenhouse, B; Arinaitwe, E; Rek, J; Das, S; Domingo, GJ; Shipman, K; Kappe, SH; Kublin, JG; Murphy, SC; (2017) Multiplex, DNase-free one-step reverse transcription PCR for Plasmodium 18S rRNA and spliced gametocyte-specific mRNAs. Malar J, 16 (1). p. 208. ISSN 1475-2875 DOI:

Text - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Plasmodium gametocytes are sexual stages transmitted to female Anopheles mosquitoes. While Plasmodium parasites can be differentiated microscopically on Giemsa-stained blood smears, molecular methods are increasingly used because of their increased sensitivity. Molecular detection of gametocytes requires methods that discriminate between asexual and sexual stage parasites. Commonly tested gametocyte-specific mRNAs are pfs25 and pfs230 detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, detection of these unspliced mRNA targets requires preceding DNase treatment of nucleic acids to eliminate co-purified genomic DNA. If gametocyte-specific, spliced mRNAs could be identified, DNase treatment could be eliminated and one-step multiplexed molecular methods utilized. Expression data was used to identify highly-expressed mRNAs in mature gametocytes that were also low in antisense RNA expression in non-gametocyte stages. After testing numerous candidate mRNAs, the spliced female Pf3D7_0630000 mRNA was selected as a Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte-specific biomarker compatible with Plasmodium 18S rRNA RT-PCR. This mRNA was only detected in samples containing mature gametocytes and was absent in those containing only asexual stage parasites or uninfected human blood. PF3D7_0630000 RT-PCR detected gametocytes across a wide range of parasite densities in both spiked and clinical samples and agreed with pfs25 RT-PCR, the gold standard for RT-PCR-based gametocyte detection. PF3D7_0630000 multiplexed with Plasmodium 18S rRNA RT-PCR was more sensitive than other spliced mRNA targets for one-step RT-PCR gametocyte detection. Because the spliced target does not require DNase treatment, the PF3D7_0630000 assay can be multiplexed with Plasmodium 18S rRNA for direct one-step detection of gametocytes from whole human blood.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 28526032
Web of Science ID: 402209700004


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item