Current surveys on the prevalence and distribution of Dirofilaria spp. and Acanthocheilonema reconditum infections in dogs in Romania

Parasitol Res. 2015 Mar;114(3):975-82. doi: 10.1007/s00436-014-4263-4. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


During the last decades, Dirofilaria spp. infection in European dogs has rapidly spread from historically endemic areas towards eastern and northeastern countries, but little or no information is available from these geographical regions. The present study provides a picture of filarial infections in dogs from Romania and compares two tests for the diagnosis of Dirofilaria immitis. From July 2010 to March 2011, blood samples were collected from 390 dogs from nine counties of Romania and serological SNAP tests were performed for the detection of D. immitis antigen. The remaining blood clots were subsequently used for DNA extraction followed by multiplex PCR for assessing filarioid species diversity (i.e. D. immitis, Dirofilaria repens and Acanthocheilonema reconditum). Based on molecular detection, an overall prevalence of 6.92 % (n = 27; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.70-10.03 %) for D. repens, 6.15 % (n = 24; 95 % CI 4.07-9.14 %) for D. immitis and 2.05 % (n = 8; 95 % CI 0.96-4.16 %) for A. reconditum was recorded, with significant variations according to sampling areas. Coinfections of D. immitis and D. repens were recorded in 23.91 % (n = 11) positive dogs. A slightly higher prevalence for D. immitis was detected at the SNAP test (n = 28, 7.17 %; 95 % CI 4.91-10.33 %), but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.66). However, only 53.57 % (n = 15) of antigen-positive dogs were confirmed by PCR, while other dogs (n = 9) PCR positive for D. immitis were negative at the serology. The present study shows that Dirofilaria species are endemic in the southern and southeastern areas of Romania, This article also provides, for the first time, an epidemiological picture of the distribution of A. reconditum in Romania.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthocheilonema / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Coinfection
  • Dirofilaria / isolation & purification*
  • Dirofilariasis / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology*
  • Dogs
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Prevalence
  • Romania / epidemiology