First report of Dirofilaria immitis in the Republic of Cape Verde

Vet Parasitol. 2013 Feb 18;192(1-3):290-1. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.09.032. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


In Maio Island, Republic of Cape Verde, a seven-year old mongrel female dog exhibiting severe generalized adenomegaly and a poor body condition was examined during an animal welfare campaign. A blood smear was drawn from peripheral blood collection and several organisms consistent with Dirofilaria immitis microfilariae were identified. Both the antigen test conducted from plasma and the RT-PCR test performed from the blood smear sample were positive for D. immitis. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of D. immitis in Cape Verde. The fact that the dog was autochthonous and had never left the island strongly suggests there might be other animals infected with the parasite. Our finding confirms the existence of the parasite in the canine population and necessarily implies the presence of a competent vector. As a serious cardiopulmonary disease and with the risk of the pathogen spreading rapidly, broader epidemiological studies need to be conducted to determine D. immitis prevalence in the canine population of Maio Island.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology*
  • Cabo Verde
  • Dirofilaria immitis / genetics
  • Dirofilaria immitis / immunology*
  • Dirofilaria immitis / isolation & purification
  • Dirofilariasis / diagnosis*
  • Dirofilariasis / immunology
  • Dirofilariasis / parasitology
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / immunology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Microfilariae
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antigens, Helminth