Recent advances on Dirofilaria repens in dogs and humans in Europe

Capelli, Gioia and Genchi, Claudio and Baneth, Gad and Bourdeau, Patrick and Brianti, Emanuele and Cardoso, Luís and Danesi, Patrizia and Fuehrer, Hans-Peter and Giannelli, Alessio and Ionicã, Angela Monica and Maia, Carla and Modrý, David and Montarsi, Fabrizio and Krücken, Jürgen and Papadopoulos, Elias and Petric, Dušan and Pfeffer, Martin and Savic, Sara and Otranto, Domenico and Poppert, Sven and Silaghi, Cornelia. (2018) Recent advances on Dirofilaria repens in dogs and humans in Europe. Parasites and vectors, 11 (1). p. 663.

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Dirofilaria repens is a nematode affecting domestic and wild canids, transmitted by several species of mosquitoes. It usually causes a non-pathogenic subcutaneous infection in dogs and is the principal agent of human dirofilariosis in the Old World. In the last decades, D. repens has increased in prevalence in areas where it has already been reported and its distribution range has expanded into new areas of Europe, representing a paradigmatic example of an emergent pathogen. Despite its emergence and zoonotic impact, D. repens has received less attention by scientists compared to Dirofilaria immitis. In this review we report the recent advances of D. repens infection in dogs and humans, and transmission by vectors, and discuss possible factors that influence the spread and increase of this zoonotic parasite in Europe. There is evidence that D. repens has spread faster than D. immitis from the endemic areas of southern Europe to northern Europe. Climate change affecting mosquito vectors and the facilitation of pet travel seem to have contributed to this expansion; however, in the authors' opinion, the major factor is likely the rate of undiagnosed dogs continuing to perpetuate the life-cycle of D. repens. Many infected dogs remain undetected due to the subclinical nature of the disease, the lack of rapid and reliable diagnostic tools and the poor knowledge and still low awareness of D. repens in non-endemic areas. Improved diagnostic tools are warranted to bring D. repens diagnosis to the state of D. immitis diagnosis, as well as improved screening of imported dogs and promotion of preventative measures among veterinarians and dog owners. For vector-borne diseases involving pets, veterinarians play a significant role in prevention and should be more aware of their responsibility in reducing the impact of the zoonotic agents. In addition, they should enhance multisectorial collaboration with medical entomologists and the public health experts, under the concept and the actions of One Health-One Medicine.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Former Units within Swiss TPH > Diagnostic (Marti)
UniBasel Contributors:Poppert, Sven
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:29 Jan 2019 14:03
Deposited On:29 Jan 2019 14:03

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