The Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) is an economically significant gamebird that has experienced a decline throughout the Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas. Recent surveys of this area have revealed a high prevalence in eyeworm (Oxyspirura petrowi) and caecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula) infection that may contribute to this decline. In order to further understand these parasites role in bobwhite populations, a time-, and cost-effective multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay was developed in this study to detect eyeworm and caecal worm infection through egg detection using the ITS2 and COX1 gene region, respectively. Method validation for the qPCR involved bobwhite fecal samples from the Rolling Plains as well as samples spiked with eyeworm, caecal worm, and bobwhite DNA. Results showed an observed increasing qPCR parasite egg detection with increasing worm burdens. Future uses with this assay can also provide insight to seasonal parasite infection and the life cycles of eyeworm and caecal worm.
- Caecal worm
- Multiplex qPCR