Zoonotic Dirofilaria repens (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in Aedes vexans mosquitoes, Czech Republic
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The surveillance of vectors for arthropod-borne pathogens is nowadays an important tool in surveillance programmes throughout Europe. Whereas many studies have been performed to screen arthropods for viruses or bacterial pathogens, only limited information is available concerning the geographical distribution and vector range of pathogenic filariae in Central Europe. To consider the prevalence of filarial parasites in mosquito vectors, we performed a molecular survey of mosquitoes for filarial DNA. Mosquito collection was conducted at six study sites in the South Moravian region (Czech Republic) close to the borders with Slovakia and Austria from 2009 to 2011. Molecular screening of mosquitoes was conducted using conventional PCR with primers designed to amplify the mitochondrial cytochromoxidase subunit I gene as well as the partial 5.8S ribosomal RNA gene. A total of 13,222 mosquitoes belonging to six species were captured and distributed into 237 pools with different numbers of individuals. Overall, four pools were positive for Dirofilaria repens (a minimum infection rate 0.03 %) at two study sites (both natural and urban). Another filarial parasite detected during a study into Aedes vexans mosquitoes revealed the closest homology to Setaria spp. We detected specific D. repens DNA in Ae. vexans mosquitoes for the first time in the Czech Republic and confirmed the circulation of Dirofilaria spp. in a natural focus of infection providing an epidemiological link between autochthonous canine cases and mosquito vectors in the area studied.
KeywordsAedes vexans Mosquito vectors Dirofilaria repens Dogs Zoonotic dirofilariosis Setaria spp.
Authors are grateful to Simon Hooper for English language editing. Authors also thank to Juraj Pesko for excellent technical assistance. This study was funded by the European Union grant FP7-261504 EDENext. The publication is catalogued by the EDENext Steering Committee as EDENext275. Authors also thank the Operational Programme Education for Competiveness project CEB (CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0183).
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