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Occult infection of dirofilaria immitis in stray dogs captured in hyogo prefecture japan



Occult infection of dirofilaria immitis in stray dogs captured in hyogo prefecture japan



Japanese Journal of Parasitology 39(5): 425-430



A study on occult Dirofilaria immitis infection was conducted with a total of 310 stray dogs captured in Hyogo Prefecture. It was found that 182 out of 310 (58.7%) dogs were positive for D. immitis adult worms. These positive dogs formed the basis for a detailed study to examine the number and sex of the adult worms in the heart and to determine the presence of mf in the blood. The cases of occult infection, that is, dogs with adult worms in the heart but without circulating mf accounted for 24.7% of the positive dogs. These are 14.8% of unisexual infection, 1.6% of sterility resulting from immaturity, aging, or drugs, and 8.2% of immune-mediated infections (complete). In 6 cases (3.3%), mf were found in the blood but in extremely small numbers compared with other dogs infected with roughly the same number of adult D. immitis. For these cases, examination of the levels of anti-cuticular antibody to mf were detected so that these 6 cases should also be considered as a type of immune-mediated occult infection. These are probably instances of an incomplete or transitional occult infection. The total incidence of an immune-mediated occult infection thus amounted to 11.5% (complete and incomplete) of the positive dogs.

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