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Dirofilaria spp. Do They Get Under Your Skin (Or into Your Heart)?

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Part of the Parasitology Research Monographs book series (Parasitology Res. Monogr.,volume 13)

Abstract

The World Health Organization defines the “One Health” concept as being particularly relevant in the control of zoonoses. Dirofilaria immitis has a worldwide distribution, while Dirofilaria repens is found only in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Both parasites have zoonotic potential and wherever canine dirofilariosis exists, there is a risk of human infection. D. immitis causes heartworm disease in dogs and cats, while D. repens causes subcutaneous dirofilariosis, primarily in dogs. D. immitis is found in Europe, the United States, Africa, India, South America, and Australia. D. repens, on the other hand is endemic in many countries of the Old World but has not yet been found in the Americas. The geographical location of both parasites is changing and they are currently spreading into previously unaffected areas, due to movement of infected animals and climate change. Both parasites have zoonotic potential and wherever canine dirofilariaois exists, there is a risk of human infection. Human subcutaneous dirofilariosis caused by D. repens is currently considered an emerging disease in humans. D. immitis infections in humans are less frequent, but the disease is potentially severe.

This chapter describes the biology of the two nematodes, the disease they cause in dogs, the main animal host, and in humans.

Keywords

  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Dirofilaria repens
  • Human subcutaneous dirofilariosis
  • Prevention

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-53230-7_11
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Correspondence to Alice Vismarra .

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Vismarra, A., Genchi, M., Cattabiani, C., Kramer, L. (2021). Dirofilaria spp. Do They Get Under Your Skin (Or into Your Heart)?. In: Strube, C., Mehlhorn, H. (eds) Dog Parasites Endangering Human Health. Parasitology Research Monographs, vol 13. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53230-7_11

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