Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys promise to be a sensitive and powerful tool for the detection of trematodes. This can contribute to the limited studies on trematode ecology, specifically in aquatic ecosystems. Here, we developed species-specific primer and probe sets for Moliniella anceps, Opisthioglyphe ranae, and Plagiorchis multiglandularis cercariae and applied a novel eDNA qPCR assay to detect larval trematodes quantitatively. We evaluated the effectiveness of the assays using filtered lake water samples collected from different sites of Lake Fadikha and Kargat River Estuary in Lake Chany, Russia, showing high species specificity and sensitivity in all 3 assays. Further, all 3 assays had high efficiencies ranging from 94.9 to 105.8%. Moliniella anceps, O. ranae, and P. multiglandularis were detected in the environmental water samples through real-time PCR. Thus, we anticipate that our approach will be beneficial for biomonitoring, measuring, and managing ecological systems.

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