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Saturday, 05 November 2022 18:17

Evidence of Dirofilaria immitis in Felids in Italy

T1903E01slider 1Dirofilaria immitis is a mosquito-borne nematode, causing heartworm (HW) disease in wild and domestic canids. HW can also affect felids with different clinical patterns from asymptomatic pictures to sudden death, making the monitoring and diagnosis complicated. Canine HW is endemic in North-eastern Italy; however, very little information has been recorded for felids. This study aims to provide new information on HW in felids in North-eastern Italy.

Two hundred and six domestic cats from Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto-Adige regions (North-eastern Italy), nine captive felids from zoological parks from Veneto, and nineteen European wildcats from Friuli Venezia Giulia were recruited. Sera/plasma was analysed for the detection of anti-HW antibodies (Ab) and HW antigens (Ag); positive blood samples were molecularly analysed, targeting the HW DNA (5S-rRNA gene).

Published in Parassitology

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