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Canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in Fresno and Madera Counties, California: prevalence differences between foothill and valley habitats



Canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in Fresno and Madera Counties, California: prevalence differences between foothill and valley habitats



Veterinary Parasitology 175(1-2): 84-91



The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of heartworm in domestic dogs in Madera and Fresno Counties, California, dependent on habitat and other host and environmental factors. Dogs were screened for presence of heartworm antigen using the PetChek(®) ELISA on blood samples (N=519) collected at seven sites during April-July 2009. Eighteen dogs were heartworm antigen positive. Pearson Chi-square analyses were conducted testing the presence of heartworm antigen against the following independent variables: elevation range, percentage of time spent outdoors during the day, percentage of time spent outdoors during the night, pet coat length, weight class, prevention status, and sex. Dogs that spent at least 50% of their time outdoors during the day were significantly more likely to have heartworm that those who spent less time outside (N=519, df=1, p=0.031). Overall prevalence (3.47%) was lower than expected, with Madera County having 3.8% positive samples and Fresno County 3.5%; this prevalence is lower than in many previous studies. The effect of time spent outdoors on heartworm prevalence was similar to previous studies. The impact of elevation on infection, though not significant, requires further investigation, as does the prevalence and viability of larval stages in mosquitoes.

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Accession: 051928250

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21051149

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.10.008


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