Fast Real-Time PCR assay for detection of Tetramicra brevifilum in cultured turbot

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Global aquaculture production of turbot has rapidly increased worldwide in the last decade and it is expected to have even bigger growth in the next years due to new farms operating. The losses caused by pathogen infections have grown at the same time as the production of this species. Parasitological infections are among the main relevant pathologies associated with its culture and produce serious losses in aquaculture, reduce the growth rate in fish and may lead to unmarketable fish due to skeletal muscle abnormalities in cases with high intensity of infection. The microsporidian parasite Tetramicra brevifilum causes severe infections and generates major losses in farmed turbot. Infections are difficult to control due to spore longevity and its direct transmission. To facilitate the infection management, an effective tool for fast detection and identification of T. brevifilum is needed. This study provides a molecular methodology of fast Real-Time PCR for T. brevifilum detection to the aquaculture industry, useful for routine control of T. brevifilum at turbot farms. The method is characterized by its high specificity and sensitivity, and it can be applied to cultured turbot for parasite detection regardless of the life-cycle stage of the pathogen or the infection intensity.

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