Why Use the Mini-FLOTAC to Detect Metastrongyloid Larvae in Dogs and Cats?



Canine and feline cardiopulmonary disease is an emergent condition in several European countries, particularly in non-endemic regions, although it is often underestimated because of the limitations of the common diagnostic techniques. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of Mini-FLOTAC to detect cardiopulmonary larvae from dogs and cats compared to reference techniques such as Baermann and FLOTAC.


A total of 20 fresh faecal samples were collected from ten dogs and ten cats naturally infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum, and Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus spp., respectively. Three replicates were performed for each technique. FS3 (zinc sulfate, specific gravity = 1.200) was used as flotation solution for Mini-FLOTAC and FLOTAC. The results were expressed as the arithmetic mean of LPG (larvae per gram of faeces).


The mean LPG calculated by means of Mini-FLOTAC was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that obtained through the Baermann technique for A. vasorum, A. abstrusus and Troglostrongylus spp., whereas it was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that obtained through the FLOTAC technique only for A. vasorum and A. abstrusus.


Mini-FLOTAC can be considered a valid alternative for the detection of metastrongyloid larvae of dogs and cats, overcoming the limitation of time required by the Baermann test.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Alho AM, Meireles J, Schnyder M, Cardoso L, Belo S, Deplazes P, de Carvalho LM (2018) Dirofilariaimmitis and Angiostrongylusvasorum: the current situation of two major canine heartworms in Portugal. Vet Parasitol 252:120–126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Allen-McClure B (2014) Lungworm in dogs—an update. Vet Nurs J 29(5):162–164

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Cringoli G, Rinaldi L, Maurelli MP, Utzinger J (2010) FLOTAC: new multivalent techniques for qualitative and quantitative copromicroscopic diagnosis of parasites in animals and humans. Nat Protoc 5(3):503–515

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Cringoli G, Maurelli MP, Levecke B, Bosco A, Vercruysse J, Utzinger J, Rinaldi L (2017) The Mini-FLOTAC technique for the diagnosis of helminth and protozoan infections in humans and animals. Nat Protoc 12(9):1723–1732

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Del Prete L, Maurelli MP, Pennacchio S, Bosco A, Musella V, Ciuca L, Cringoli G, Rinaldi L (2015) Dirofilariaimmitis and Angiostrongylusvasorum: the contemporaneous detection in kennels. BMC Vet Res 11:305

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Di Cesare A, Castagna G, Meloni S, Milillo P, Latrofa S, Otranto D, Traversa D (2011) Canine and feline infections by cardiopulmonary nematodes in central and southern Italy. Parasitol Res 109(Suppl 1):S87–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Gaglio G, Cringoli G, Rinaldi L, Brianti E, Giannetto S (2008) Use of the FLOTAC technique for the diagnosis of Aelurostrongylusabstrusus in the cat. Parasitol Res 103(5):1055–1057

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Maurelli MP, Rinaldi L, Alfano S, Pepe P, Coles GC, Cringoli G (2014) Mini-FLOTAC, a new tool for copromicroscopic diagnosis of common intestinal nematodes in dogs. Parasit Vectors 7:356

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Moskvina TV (2018) Current knowledge about Aelurostrongylus abstrusus biology and diagnostic. Ann Parasitol 64(1):3–11. https://doi.org/10.17420/ap6401.126

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Rinaldi L, Calabria G, Carbone S, Carrella A, Cringoli G (2007) Crenosoma vulpis in dog: first case report in Italy and use of the FLOTAC technique for copromicroscopic diagnosis. Parasitol Res 101(6):1681–1684

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Schnyder M, Tanner I, Webster P, Barutzki D, Deplazes P (2011) An ELISA for sensitive and specific detection of circulating antigen of Angiostrongylusvasorum in serum samples of naturally and experimentally infected dogs. Vet Parasitol 179(1–3):152–158

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Taylor MA, Coop RL, Wall RL (2015) Veterinary parasitology. Wiley Blackwell, UK

    Book  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Willard MD, Roberts RE, Allison N, Grieve RB, Escher K (1988) Diagnosis of Aelustrongylusabstrusus and Dirofilariaimmitis infections in cats from a human shelter. J Am Vet Med Assoc 192:913–916

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paola Pepe.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ianniello, D., Pepe, P., Alves, L.C. et al. Why Use the Mini-FLOTAC to Detect Metastrongyloid Larvae in Dogs and Cats?. Acta Parasit. 65, 546–549 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00171-9

Download citation


  • Cardiopulmonary diseases
  • Diagnosis
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Mini-FLOTAC