[Occurrence of canine subcutaneous dirofilariosis (Dirofilaria repens) in Switzerland]

Kaiser, C. R. and Müller, P. and Zinsstag, J.. (2023) [Occurrence of canine subcutaneous dirofilariosis (Dirofilaria repens) in Switzerland]. SAT, 165 (5). pp. 321-331.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/94888/

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Infectious diseases are increasingly introduced into Switzerland due to the increased travel activity in recent decades and the import of dogs. Dirofilariasis, caused by Dirofilaria immitis or D. repens, is one of them. An infection with D. repens, the cause of canine subcutaneous dirofilariosis, is often asymptomatic in dogs, but represents a potential zoonotic disease risk for humans. Due to the rapidly increasing number of human cases, D. repens is considered an emerging zoonosis in north-eastern Europe. The prevalence of D. repens infections in dogs and humans in Switzerland is unknown. Since 2016 the analysing diagnostic laboratory provided with the newly introduced filaria PCR a realiable diagnostic test to differentiate betweeen D. immitis and D. repens. Total nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) was extracted from 200 mul EDTA blood without prior enrichment followed by a species-specific real-time PCR assay. The analyses for Dirofilariae in the years 2016 to 2021 were examined in a descriptive retrospective study and the proportion of positive tests per year (prevalence with 95 % confidence interval) was calculated. Furthermore, blood samples of 50 imported dogs to Switzerland were analyzed in an exploratory cross-sectional study for the presence of dirofilaria. No D. repens positive case was found in the first two years after the introduction of the PCR. In 2018 five of 546 analyzed samples (5/546, 0,9 %, 95 % confidence interval [95 % CI]=0,7 - 1,2 %) tested positive for D. repens, in 2019 four of 591 (0,7 %, 95 % CI=0,5 - 0,9 %), in 2020 15 of 783 (1,9 %, 95 % CI=1,6 - 2,3 %) and in 2021 eleven of 1058 samples (1,0 %, 95 % CI=0,8 - 1,3 %). In the exploratory cross-sectional study, four of the 50 examined dogs were positive for D. repens (8 %, 95 % CI=2,6 - 20,1 %). One dog had a concurrent infection with D. immitis and D. repens. All four positive tested dogs were imported from Hungary. Potentially zoonotic infections with D. repens occur in dogs living in Switzerland. This disease should be included in the differential diagnoses of imported dogs and a monitoring during routine health checks should be done more often. The veterinary profession can thus assume its responsibility for the prevention of zoonoses as part of a One Health approach.
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) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health > One Health (Zinsstag)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Vector Biology > Vector Research and Control (Müller)
UniBasel Contributors:Müller, Pie and Zinsstag, Jakob Z
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:07 Jun 2023 06:51
Deposited On:07 Jun 2023 06:51

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