Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Molecular detection of Strongyloides sp. in Australian thoroughbred foals

Abbas, G., Ghafar, A., Koehler, A.V., Bauquier, J., Wilkes, E.J.A., Jacobson, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-9427-1941, Beasley, A., Hurley, J., Cudmore, L., Carrigan, P., Tennent-Brown, B., El-Hage, C., Nielsen, M.K., Gauci, C.G., Hughes, K.J., Beveridge, I. and Jabbar, A. (2021) Molecular detection of Strongyloides sp. in Australian thoroughbred foals. Parasites & Vectors, 14 (1). Art. 444.

PDF - Published Version
Download (953kB) | Preview
Free to read:
*No subscription required



Strongyloides westeri is found in the small intestine of young horses, mainly in foals up to about 16 weeks of age. The main source of infection for foals is through transmammary transmission, and foals can develop acute diarrhoea, weakness, dermatitis and respiratory signs. The epidemiology of S. westeri in Australia is largely unknown. Further, molecular techniques have never been employed for detection of S. westeri in horses. This pilot study aimed to assess the utility of a molecular phylogenetic method for the detection of S. westeri in the faeces of foals.


Faecal samples were collected from a foal of less than 2 months of age, and eggs of Strongyloides sp. were detected using the modified McMaster technique. DNA was extracted from purified eggs, and a partial fragment of the small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (18S) was characterised using polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing and phylogenetic methods.


Microscopic examination of faeces revealed small ellipsoidal eggs typical of Strongyloides sp. The 18S sequence generated by PCR in this study revealed 98.4% identity with that of a reference sequence of S. westeri available from GenBank. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a polyphyletic clustering of S. westeri sequences.


This is the first study reporting the detection of DNA of Strongyloides sp. in faeces of a foal using a molecular phylogenetic approach targeting the variable region of 18S rDNA. It is anticipated that this study will allow future molecular epidemiological studies on S. westeri in horses.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Animal Production and Health
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year