Publications by authors named "Laura F Lalonde"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Optimization and validation of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of in leafy greens.

Food Waterborne Parasitol 2021 Jun 26;23:e00123. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Centre for Food-borne and Animal Parasitology, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Saskatoon Laboratory, 116 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 2R3, Canada.

is one of the most common food and water-borne intestinal parasites of humans and animals worldwide. Fresh, ready-to-eat produce such as leafy greens and salad mixes are considered potential transmission vehicles for infection in humans. Therefore, a specific, sensitive, and reliable method for detection in leafy greens is needed. We optimized washing procedures for the recovery of cysts from leafy greens and adapted and validated an existing EF1α LAMP assay for the detection of DNA to support routine diagnostic surveillance and disease outbreak investigations. Four leafy green types (35 ± 1 g) were spiked with 100 cysts and we compared washing by shaking with 1 M glycine ( = 20) or 0.1% Alconox ( = 20). DNA was extracted from washes, tested by LAMP and melt curve analysis, and time to positive (TTP) values compared. The detection limit was determined by spiking 10 ( = 40) cysts onto these same types of leafy greens and processing as above with 0.1% Alconox. Method robustness was assessed by subjecting spring mix ( = 45 total) to aging (1, 3 or 7 days) and washes to aging and freezing conditions prior to testing. Assay repeatability and specificity were evaluated, and an artificial positive control (APC) distinguishable by melt temperature (Tm) from DNA of spiked on leafy greens was designed to rule out cross-contamination from the control. detection rates were higher and TTP was lower ( < 0.05) for 0.1% Alconox (19/20, 8.85 ± 0.3 min) compared with 1 M glycine (15/20, 14.53 ± 7.2 min). The LAMP assay detected 10 cysts spiked on leafy greens in 13-34 min in 14/40 samples tested. Robustness assessment showed that TTP was higher ( < 0.0001) when spiked produce was stored for 7 days (13.09 ± 1.14 min) compared to fresh (9.72 ± 0.43 min). No unspiked samples were positive by LAMP, and the Tm for DNA of spiked on leafy greens was higher ( < 0.0001, 87.43 ± 0.05 °C) than the APC (86.43 ± 0.12 °C). Within-assay repeatability co-efficient of variation (CV) for TTP was 5.4% and no cross-contamination occurred when spiked and un-spiked samples were processed in alternate order. The optimized sample processing procedure combined with the EF1α LAMP assay is a sensitive, specific, labour-saving, and rapid method for the detection of cysts in leafy greens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fawpar.2021.e00123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209402PMC
June 2021

A novel protocol to isolate, detect and differentiate taeniid eggs in leafy greens and berries using real-time PCR with melting curve analysis.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Dec 18;12(1):590. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Centre for Food-borne and Animal Parasitology, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 2R3, Canada.

Background: Zoonotic taeniid cestodes are amongst the most important food-borne parasites affecting human health worldwide. Contamination of fresh produce with the eggs of Echinococcus granulosus (s.l.), Echinococcus multilocularis, and some Taenia species pose a potential food safety risk. However, very few studies have attempted to investigate the potential contamination of fresh produce with taeniid eggs and the available methods are not standardized for this purpose. Established protocols do exist for testing leafy greens and berries for contamination with protozoan parasites and are used in national surveillance programmes. This methodology could be suitable for the detection of taeniids. The objective of this project was to develop and standardize a sensitive and reliable method to detect contamination of leafy greens and berries with eggs of zoonotic taeniids and to differentiate between E. multilocularis, E. granulosus (s.l.) and Taenia spp.

Methods: We compared the efficacy of different wash solutions to remove Taenia spp. eggs from spiked produce, assessed two DNA extraction kits for their performance on Taenia spp. eggs, and adapted a published conventional multiplex PCR into a real-time PCR with fluorescence melting curve analysis (MCA) that was optimized for use on produce washes. Analytical specificity of this protocol was assessed using non-spiked produce washes as well as a variety of other potentially contaminating parasites.

Results: The protocol as established in this study had an analytical sensitivity of detecting five eggs per spiked sample for both romaine lettuce and strawberries. Unequivocal identification of E. multilocularis, E. granulosus (s.l.) and Taenia spp. was possible through MCA. Amplicon sequencing allowed identification of Taenia to the species level. The real-time PCR also amplified DNA from Dicrocoelium sp., but with a clearly discernable melting curve profile.

Conclusion: The new protocol for screening produce for taeniid contamination was highly sensitive. Melting curve analysis and the possibility of amplicon sequencing made this assay very specific. Once further validated, this method could be employed for surveillance of produce for contamination with taeniid parasites to assess potential risks for consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3834-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6918723PMC
December 2019

Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2013 Dec 14;2:90-6. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5B4.

The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada's central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3862500PMC
December 2013

Application of a qPCR assay with melting curve analysis for detection and differentiation of protozoan oocysts in human fecal samples from Dominican Republic.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013 Nov 9;89(5):892-8. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Centre for Food-Borne and Animal Parasitology, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santiago, Dominican Republic.

A quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay with melt curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) was applied for the detection of protozoan oocysts in 501 human fecal samples collected in Dominican Republic. Samples were subjected to qPCR using universal coccidia primers targeting 18S rDNA to detect oocysts followed by MCA to identify oocyst species based on amplicon melting temperature. Putative positive samples were also tested by conventional PCR and microscopy. Cystoisospora belli (×3), Cryptosporidium parvum (×3), Cryptosporidium hominis (×5), Cryptosporidium meleagridis (×1), Cryptosporidium canis (×1), and Cyclospora cayetanensis (×9) were detected by qPCR-MCA and confirmed by sequencing. This assay consistently detected 10 copies of the cloned target fragment and can be considered more efficient and sensitive than microscopy flotation methods for detecting multiple species of oocysts in human feces. The qPCR-MCA is a reliable protozoan oocyst screening assay for use on clinical and environmental samples in public health, food safety and veterinary programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.13-0106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820332PMC
November 2013

Detection and differentiation of coccidian oocysts by real-time PCR and melting curve analysis.

J Parasitol 2011 Aug 11;97(4):725-30. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Centre for Food-borne and Animal Parasitology, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 116 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, S7N 2R3, Canada.

Rapid and reliable detection and identification of coccidian oocysts are essential for animal health and foodborne disease outbreak investigations. Traditional microscopy and morphological techniques can identify large and unique oocysts, but they are often subjective and require parasitological expertise. The objective of this study was to develop a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay using melting curve analysis (MCA) to detect, differentiate, and identify DNA from coccidian species of animal health, zoonotic, and food safety concern. A universal coccidia primer cocktail was designed and employed to amplify DNA from Cryptosporidium parvum, Toxoplasma gondii, Cyclospora cayetanensis, and several species of Eimeria, Sarcocystis, and Isospora using qPCR with SYBR Green detection. MCA was performed following amplification, and melting temperatures (T(m)) were determined for each species based on multiple replicates. A standard curve was constructed from DNA of serial dilutions of T. gondii oocysts to estimate assay sensitivity. The qPCR assay consistently detected DNA from as few as 10 T. gondii oocysts. T(m) data analysis showed that C. cayetanensis, C. parvum, Cryptosporidium muris, T. gondii, Eimeria bovis, Eimeria acervulina, Isospora suis, and Sarcocystis cruzi could each be identified by unique melting curves and could be differentiated based on T(m). DNA of coccidian oocysts in fecal, food, or clinical diagnostic samples could be sensitively detected, reliably differentiated, and identified using qPCR with MCA. This assay may also be used to detect other life-cycle stages of coccidia in tissues, fluids, and other matrices. MCA studies on multiple isolates of each species will further validate the assay and support its application as a routine parasitology screening tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-2706.1DOI Listing
August 2011

Highly sensitive and specific PCR assay for reliable detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2008 Jul 23;74(14):4354-8. Epub 2008 May 23.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Saskatoon Laboratory, Centre for Food-borne and Animal Parasitology, 116 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 2R3.

Multiple outbreaks of food-borne gastroenteritis caused by the coccidian parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis have been reported annually in North America since 1995. Detection of C. cayetanensis contamination typically relies on laborious and subjective microscopic examination of produce washes. Molecular detection methods based on nested PCR, restriction fragment length polymorphism, or multiplex PCR have been developed for C. cayetanensis; however, they have not been adequately validated for use on food products. Further challenges include reliably extracting DNA from coccidian oocysts since their tough outer wall is resistant to lysis and overcoming PCR inhibitors in sample matrices. We describe preliminary validation of a reliable DNA extraction method for C. cayetanensis oocysts and a sensitive and specific novel PCR assay. The sensitivity and repeatability of the developed methods were evaluated by multiple DNA extractions and PCR amplifications using 1,000-, 100-, 10-, or 1-ooycst aliquots of C. cayetanensis oocysts in water or basil wash sediment. Successful PCR amplification was achieved on 15 and 5 replicates extracted from aliquots containing 1,000 oocysts in water and basil wash, respectively. All 45 replicates of the 100-oocyst aliquots in water and 5 in basil wash were amplified successfully, as were 43/45 and 41/45 of the 10- and 1-oocyst aliquots in water and 9/15 and 2/15 in basil wash, respectively. The developed primers showed no cross-reactivity when tested against bacteria, nematodes, and protozoans, including Eimeria, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium. Our results indicate that these methods are specific, can reliably detect a single oocyst, and overcome many of the limitations of microscopic diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00032-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2493149PMC
July 2008
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