Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

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Dirofilaria repens (dog, cat)



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Subcutaneous worm

Distribution: Spain, South of France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Turkey and Hungary.

Host: Final hosts are dogs, cats and other carnivores.  L3 larvae are transmitted by mosquito vector (intermediate host).  Cutaneous infection. Pre-patent period is 27-34 weeks, patent period – several years.

Diagnosis:  Requires 2-4 ml EDTA blood.  Detection of microfilariae from 6.2 months post infection.  Detection improved by concentration of microfilariae with Difil -Test or Knott’s Test.  Microfilariae can be speciated using morphological, biochemical or molecular species identification by the use of specialised laboratories.

Clinical signs: Mostly asymptomatic, very rarely modules or other cutaneous lesions.

Zoonosis: Usually manifests itself in humans as a single subcutaneous nodule or a single worm in the conjuctiva.


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