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Molecular Diagnostics Protocols

The Williams Lab has developed several PCR-based diagnostic tests for the detection and differentiation of filarial parasites in blood and mosquitoes. These tests (primers and protocols) are now available through the FR3.  For stage specific detection of L3 larvae in blood and mosquitoes, Sandra Laney, also from the Williams Lab, has developed RT-PCR assays for W. Bancrofti and B. malayi.  Background information on the development of these assays is found in the following sources.  


Brugia malayi

Laney SJ, Buttaro CJ, Pilotte N et al. 2008.  A reverse-PCR assay for detecting filarial infective larvae in mosquitoes.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease.   Jun 18, 2(6):e251


Lizotte MR, Supali T, Partono F, Williams SA. 1994. A polymerase chain reaction for the detection of Brugia malayi in blood. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Sep; 51(3):315-2.  PMID: 7943550


Wuchereria bancrofti

Laney SJ, Ramzy RM, Hemly HH, Farid HA, Ashour AA, Weil GJ, Williams SA.  2010 Detection of Wuchereria bancrofti L3 larvae in mosquitos: a reverse transciptase PCR assay evaluating infection and infectivity. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease. Feb 16; 4(2):e602


Williams SA, Nicolas L, Lizotte-Waniewski M, Plichart C, Luquiaud P, Nguyen LN, Moulia-Pelat JP. 1996.  A polymerase chain reaction assay for the detection of Wucheria bancrofti in blood samples from French Polynesia.  Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  Apr; 54(4):384-7 


Zhong M, McCarthy J, Bierwert L, Lizotte-Waniewski M, Chanteau S, Nutman TB, Ottesen EA, Williams SA.  1996. A polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of  the parasite Wucheria bancrofti in human blood samples.  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  Apr; 54(4): 357-63


Mansonella streptocerca

Fischer P, Buttner DW, Bamuhiiga J, Williams SA. 1998.  Detection of the filarial parasite Mansonella streptocerca in skin biopsies by a nested polymerase chain reaction based assay. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  Jun; 58(6): 816-20


Other Parasites

Additionally, PCR tests are available for Brugia pahangi, Dirofilaria immitus, and Acanthocheilonema viteae.  Please contact Sue Haynes ( or Steven Williams ( for the most current protocols.