Parasitological, Serological and Molecular Study of Dirofilaria immitis in Domestic Dogs, Southeastern Iran
AbstractBackground: Dirofilariasis is a serious and potentially deadly condition in dogs and one of the zoonotic filarial infections, which inadvertently affects the humans. The objectives of this study were to determine the seroprevalence and the molecular identity of dirofilariasis in Kerman Province, southeastern Iran between Jul and Aug 2013.Methods: A hundred and forty-nine domestic dogs were randomly selected and five ml blood samples were taken from each dog. One ml of anticoagulant (EDTA) was used for each test in the parasitological study (modified Knott´s test) and sera samples were examined, using ELISA kit to detect Dirofilaria immitis antigen. Extracted DNA of all positive blood samples was used for molecular characterization and sequencing.Results: Four (2.7%) domestic dogs of the total 149 domestic dogs were infected with micofilariae of D. immitis, while the serological study showed 8 (5.4%) domestic dogs were infected with D. immitis. No significant difference, however, was found between dirofilariasis infection and gender. On the other hand, a significant difference was observed between dirofilariasis infection and age (P<0.05). Based on the PCR findings, among the total specimens, 6 positive samples were characterized as D. immitis.Conclusion: Dirofilariasis occurred when there was low endemicity in the dogs. Such dogs could be a potential source of infection for humans. These findings could help in better understanding of the epidemiological aspects of D. immitis in the southeastern parts of Iran.
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