Potential vectors of Dirofilaria immitis (Leidy, 1856) in Itacoatiara, oceanic region of Niterói municipality, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. Jul-Aug 1998;93(4):425-32. doi: 10.1590/s0074-02761998000400001.


Dirofilaria immitis is a widespread mosquito-borne parasite that causes dirofilariasis, a commonly diagnosed disease of dogs that is rarely reported in cats and humans. A mosquito survey was conducted in Itacoatiara in the State of Rio de Janeiro, from March 1995 to February 1996, using canine, feline and human baits. A total of 3,667 mosquitoes were dissected for D. immitis larvae, representing 19 species and 10 genera. From those, Ae. scapularis, Ae taeniorhynchus, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. declarator, Cx. saltanensis and Wy. bourrouli were found infected with D. immitis parasites, and among those only the first three harbored infective larvae. The majority of larvae were found in the Malpighian tubules (889/936), and larval melanization was observed in the two Aedes species. In descending order, the best vectors were Ae. scapularis. Ae. taeniorhynchus, and Cx. quinquefasciatus which alternate seasonally in importance. Cx. quinquefasciatus is suggested to be a vector to cats. The potential transmission of D. immitis parasites by these three vectors to man is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Cats
  • Culicidae / classification
  • Culicidae / parasitology*
  • Dirofilaria immitis / growth & development
  • Dirofilaria immitis / isolation & purification*
  • Dogs
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / classification
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology*
  • Seasons