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Importance in France of the infestation by Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens in dogs


, : Importance in France of the infestation by Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens in dogs. Parassitologia 39(4): 393-395

The presence of Dirofilaria repens has been mentioned in Europe, in Africa and in Asia, in different carnivores (dogs, foxes, cats, lions). In Europe the nematode has been reported in dogs, cats and foxes and the countries concerned by native cases are Italy, Spain, Greece, Yugoslavia and France. In France, until now, D. repens has been described, among animals, only in dogs. The first undoubted report dates back to 1953. Later, the prevalence was studied through widespread surveys (1986-1988-1989), focal surveys within some canine populations (military dogs) and some sporadic and fortuitous descriptions. The prevalence has been mainly assessed by pointing up the microfilariae in the blood and by identifying it after histochemical staining (for demonstration of the somatic distribution of acid phosphatase activity). The infestation rate was higher than 20% in some military dog populations. The cases occurred in nineteen French departments (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Aude, Bouches-du-Rhône, Corrèze, Corse, Dordogne, Gard, Gers, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Loir-et-Cher, Nièvre, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône, Tarnet-Garonne, Var, Vaucluse, Vienne and Region Parisienne). The pathogenicity which is normally denied has to be reconsidered. The pathology of adult worms has not been clearly proved in dogs but the embolized microfilariae can bring about skin troubles. The potential pathogenicity, the necessity of the differentiation with D. immitis and above all, the zoonotic importance of D. repens must lead to search for it more often and to consider it with great interest.

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PMID: 9802099


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