Introduction and objective:
Cyclospora cayetanensis, a coccidian protozoan species, has been recently found to cause diarrhea in all age groups in immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals in most regions of the world. This study aimed to conduct the molecular detection of C. cayetanensis and to determine the genetic diversity of the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence of C. cayetanensis isolated from individuals living in different provinces in Turkey by using PCR–single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP).

Material and methods:
A total of 22 subjects were included in the study. Fourteen of the subjects were female and eight were male, with ages ranging between 7–65 years. Stool specimens were examined using wet mount and modified acid-fast staining methods, which revealed the presence of oocysts in the samples. The 18S rRNA ITS-1 Ccits37f-GCTTGCTATGTTTTAGCATGTGG and Ccits501r-GCACAATGAATGCACACACA gene regions were used as primers. The PCR products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis and visualized on a UV transilluminator. For the SSCP, the PCR products were denatured with formamide, run for 16 h in 6% (49:1) polyacrylamide gel, and then imaged with silver staining.

SSCP assay was performed given that the DNA strands demonstrated different folds; the DNA strands contain different nucleotides based on the PCR-SSCP results for the Cyclospora strains collected in 4 provinces. Moreover, 3 different band profiles were observed in the investigated samples. A slight mutation difference was observed among the strains collected.

Further comprehensive studies involving more C. cayetanensis-positive specimens and utilizing different mutation screening methods are warranted to demonstrate mutation differences in Cyclopora strains in Turkey.

The study was supported by Dicle University in Diyarbakır, Turkey, Scientific Research Coordinatorship (DÜBAP), Project No. 11-TF-58.
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