Human dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens: an update of world literature from 1995 to 2000

Parassitologia. 2000 Dec;42(3-4):231-54.


Following on from their review of 1995 (Pampiglione et al.), the authors present an update of human cases of dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens (Nematoda, Filarioidea, Onchocercidae) reported in the world literature. Cases of the parasitosis published from 1995 to 2000 are reported country by country. The essential data are presented in tabular form and the clinical, parasitological, histopathological, epidemiological features are analysed. 372 new cases spread over 25 countries are thus added to the list published in 1995. The countries most affected are Italy, Sri Lanka, some republics of the ex-Soviet Union. The age of the patients varied from 4 months to 100 years, the majority being in their 40s. There was virtually no difference in incidence between sexes. The parasite appeared most frequently in the upper half of the body, particularly in the head and ocular region and also in the upper limbs. Cases of visceral involvement are also reported. Of the various forms of human dirofilariasis, that due to D. (N.) repens is confirmed to be the most important as regards not only the number of subjects affected and the wide geographical distribution but also the variety of organs involved, notably the lungs, the male genitals and the female breast, invariably leading to a wrong diagnosis of malignant tumour. In man, the zoonosis may be described as emerging: whereas until the middle of the last century only a few dozen cases were reported, in the last 50 years the number has gradually increased to reach the present 782.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dirofilaria / classification*
  • Dirofilariasis / epidemiology*
  • Dirofilariasis / parasitology
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged