The vectorial role of blood-sucking arthropods, other than mosquitoes, has been explored for Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens which are filarioids of increasing interest due to their zoonotic potential. Given the expansion of canine heartworm infection in southern Europe due to D. immitis and the report of the infection in Linosa Island (Sicily, Italy), we investigated and focused on the potential involvement of Culicoides spp. in Dirofilaria spp. transmission as well as the blood-meal source in Dirofilaria spp. molecularly positive biting midges. Out of 1791 specimens collected 1773 were morphologically and molecularly identified as Culicoides paolae and 18 as Culicoides obsoletus complex. Of the 1596 females, 4 (0.26%) parous C. paolae tested positive for D. immitis and D. repens (i.e. 2 Culicoides specimens for each filarial species), of which D. immitis-positive samples fed on both humans and dogs and D. repens-positive samples fed only on humans. The detection of D. immitis and D. repens DNA in Culicoides midges suggests their potential involvement in the epidemiology of the filarial nematodes, which may be of medical and veterinary importance in hyper-endemic areas. Findings of this study shed new light on the epidemiology of Dirofilaria spp. infections indicating that further investigations are needed.

Detection of Dirofilaria DNA and host blood-meal identification in Culicoides paolae biting-midges

Napoli, E;La Russa, F;Cambera, I;Brianti, E
2022-01-01

Abstract

The vectorial role of blood-sucking arthropods, other than mosquitoes, has been explored for Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens which are filarioids of increasing interest due to their zoonotic potential. Given the expansion of canine heartworm infection in southern Europe due to D. immitis and the report of the infection in Linosa Island (Sicily, Italy), we investigated and focused on the potential involvement of Culicoides spp. in Dirofilaria spp. transmission as well as the blood-meal source in Dirofilaria spp. molecularly positive biting midges. Out of 1791 specimens collected 1773 were morphologically and molecularly identified as Culicoides paolae and 18 as Culicoides obsoletus complex. Of the 1596 females, 4 (0.26%) parous C. paolae tested positive for D. immitis and D. repens (i.e. 2 Culicoides specimens for each filarial species), of which D. immitis-positive samples fed on both humans and dogs and D. repens-positive samples fed only on humans. The detection of D. immitis and D. repens DNA in Culicoides midges suggests their potential involvement in the epidemiology of the filarial nematodes, which may be of medical and veterinary importance in hyper-endemic areas. Findings of this study shed new light on the epidemiology of Dirofilaria spp. infections indicating that further investigations are needed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3243094
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