New insights onto cardiopulmonary nematodes of dogs in Sardinia, Italy

Parasitol Res. 2014 Apr;113(4):1505-9. doi: 10.1007/s00436-014-3794-z. Epub 2014 Feb 14.


Dog heartworms Angiostrongylus vasorum and Dirofilaria immitis cause severe parasitological diseases; the importance of these parasitosis is growing due to their health impact on animals, the possible zoonotic implications and the recent spreading across several European countries and previously non-endemic areas. The aim of this study is to update the epidemiological scenario of cardiopulmonary nematodes A. vasorum and D. immitis in dogs of Sardinia island and to perform a morphological identification of larvae by the use of the Baermann and Knott techniques respectively and the molecular characterization of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and the second ribosomal transcribed spacer region (ITS-2) of larvae L1 of A. vasorum. In the present study, 3.4% (5/146) of dogs resulted positive at Baermann technique for A. vasorum while 8.9% (61/684) to D. immitis. If on one side A. vasorum can be considered an emerging parasite in Sardinia, the parasitic pressure and the risk of infection for D. immitis in the island seems to be increased compared with the recent past.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiostrongylus / genetics
  • Animals
  • Dirofilaria immitis / genetics
  • Dirofilariasis / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / parasitology
  • Heart Diseases / veterinary*
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Larva / parasitology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Strongylida Infections / epidemiology*
  • Strongylida Infections / veterinary