Original Article

Molecular Detection of Dipylidium caninum in Isolated Fleas of Dogs in Meshkinshahr County, Northwest of Iran


Background: Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are considered as highly specialized bloodsucking on mammals such as humans, livestock, dog, cat, rabbit, squirrels, rats, and mice. The desire for blood feeding from warm-blooded animals has led to becoming an intermediate host for some tapeworms like Dipylidium. The aim of this study was to detect D. caninum larval infection in fleas of dogs living in Meshkinshahr County, northwest of Iran.

Methods: Fleas were collected from 42 dogs using brushing the hair in Meshkinshahr for one year (2014-2015). After the morphological study, fleas were preserved in 90% ethanol for molecular identification. After DNA extraction, the 28S ribosomal RNA gene (~670 bp) of D. caninum was amplified using specific primers. Finally, the PCR products were sequenced.

Results: Overs, 974 fleas were collected from the dogs. In the morphological study, three species Ctenocephalides canis, Ct. felis, and Pulex irritans were identified. PCR and sequence analysis results showed that 4 isolates Ct. Canis were infected with D. caninum. Also, no positive specimens were isolated from the other two species.

Conclusion: Ct. canis is reported as the most important species of fleas in transferring D. caninum in that region.

1. Nelder MP, Reeves WK. Ectoparasites of road-killed vertebrates in northwestern South Carolina, USA. Vet Parasitol. 2005, 129: 313–322.
2. Scott DW, Miller WH Jr., Griffin CE. Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology, 6th ed., 1,528 pp. W. B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA, 2001. ISBN: 0-7216-7618-9.
3. Whiting MF, Whiting AS, Hastriter MW, Dittmar K. A molecular phylogeny of fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera): Origins and host associations. Cladistics 2008, 24:1–32. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2008.00211.x.
4. Bitam I, Dittmar K, Parola P, Whiting MF, Raoult D. Fleas and flea-borne diseases. Int J Infect Dis. 2010, 14:667–676. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2009.11.011.
5. Pérez-Martínez L, Venzal JM, González-Acuña D, Portillo A, Blanco JR, Oteo JA. Bartonella rochalimae and other Bartonella spp. in fleas, Chile. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009, 15:1150–1152. doi:10.3201/eid1507.081570.
6. Guaguère E, Beugnet F. Parasitic skin conditions, In: A Practical Guide to Canine Dermatology. 2008, Guaguère E, Prélaud P, Craig M, Editors. Kalianxis: Paris. p. 179–226.
7. Chappell CL, Enos JP, Penn HM. Dipylidium caninum, an under-recognized infection in infants and children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1990, 9:745–747.
8. Fourie JJ, Crafford D, Horak IG, Stanneck D. Prophylactic treatment of flea-infested cats with an imidacloprid/ flumethrin collar to forestall infection with Dipylidium caninum. Parasit Vectors. 2012, 5:151. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-151.
9. Mohebali M. Visceral leishmaniasis in Iran: Review of the epidemiological and clinical features. Iran J Parasitol. 2013, 8:348–358.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Pictorial keys to arthropods, reptiles, birds, and mammals of public health significance, Atlanta, Ga. : Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prefention, 2003.
11. Ish-Horowicz D, Burke JF. Rapid and efficient cosmid cloning. Nucleic Acids Res. 1981, 9:2989–2998. doi:10.1093/nar/9.13.2989.
12. Beugnet F, Labuschagne M, Fourie J, et al. Occurrence of Dipylidium caninum in fleas from client-owned cats and dogs in Europe using a new PCR detection assay. Vet Parasitol. 2014, 205:300–306. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.06.008.
13. Sarvi S, Daryani A, Sharif M, Rahimi MT, Kohansal MH, Mirshafiee S, Siyadatpanah A, Hosseini SA, Gholami S. Zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores: A systematic review in Iran. Vet World. 2018, 11:58–65. doi:10.14202/vetworld.2018.58-65.
14. Rodríguez-Vivas RI, Gutierrez-Ruiz E, Bolio-González ME, et al. An epidemiological study of intestinal parasites of dogs from Yucatan, Mexico, and their risk to public health. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2011, 11:1141–1144. doi:10.1089/vbz.2010.0232.
15. Traversa D, Di Cesare A, Simonato G, et al. Zoonotic intestinal parasites and vector-borne pathogens in Italian shelter and kennel dogs. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2017, 51:69–75. doi:10.1016/j.cimid.2017.04.003.
16. Edosomwan EU, Chinweuba CR. A survey on helminth parasites of dogs in Benin city, Edo State, Nigeria. J Vet Med Anim Heal. 2012, 4:56–60.
17. Sowemimo OA, Asaolu SO. Epidemiology of intestinal helminth parasites of dogs in Ibadan, Nigeria. J Helminthol. 2008, 82:89–93. doi:10.1017/S0022149X07875924.
18. Umar YA. Intestinal helminthoses in dogs in Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Iran J Parasitol. 2009, 4:34–39.
19. Ugbomoiko US, Ariza L, Heukelbach J. Parasites of importance for human health in Nigerian dogs: High prevalence and limited knowledge of pet owners. BMC Vet Res. 2008, 4:49. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-4-49.
20. Dantas-Torres F. Canine vector-borne diseases in Brazil Parasit Vectors, 2008, 1:25. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-1-25.
21. Klimpel S, Heukelbach J, Pothmann D, Rückert S. Gastrointestinal and ectoparasites from urban stray dogs in Fortaleza (Brazil): High infection risk for humans?. Parasitol Res. 2010, 107:713–719. doi:10.1007/s00436-010-1926-7.
22. Heukelbach J, Frank R, Ariza L, et al. High prevalence of intestinal infections and ectoparasites in dogs, Minas Gerais State (southeast Brazil). Parasitol Res. 2012, 111:1913–1921. doi:10.1007/s00436-012-3037-0.
23. Dantas-Torres F, Otranto D. Dogs, cats, parasites, and humans in Brazil: Opening the black box. Parasit Vectors. 2014, 7:22. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-7-22.
24. Devi S, Deka DK, Neog R, Islam S, Upadhyaya TN, Das M. Dipylidium caninum in dogs and screening of fleas as possible vectors in Greater Guwahati. J Vet Parasitol. 2011, 25:76–78.
25. Tylkowska A, Pilarczyk B, Gregorczyk A, Templin E. Gastrointestinal helminths of dogs in Western Pomerania, Poland. Wiadomości Parazytol. 2010, 56:269–276.
26. Tavassoli M, Ahmadi A, Imani A, Ahmadiara E, Javadi S, Hadian M. Survey of flea infestation in dogs in different geographical regions of Iran. Korean J Parasitol. 2010, 48:145–149. doi:10.3347/kjp.2010.48.2.145.
27. Durden LA, Judy TN, Martin JE, Spedding LS. Fleas parasitizing domestic dogs in Georgia, USA: Species composition and seasonal abundance. Vet Parasitol. 2005, 130:157–162. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.03.016.
28. Hinaidy, HK. Beitrag zur Biologie des Dipylidium caninum. J Vet Med. 1991, 38: 329–336.
29. de Avelar DM, Bussolotti AS, do M Ramos CA, Linardi PM. Endosymbionts of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) obtained from dogs captured in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. J Invertebr Pathol. 2007, 94:149–152. doi:10.1016/j.jip.2006.10.001.
30. García-Agudo L, García-Martos P, Rodríguez-Iglesias M. Dipylidium caninum infection in an infant: A rare case report and literature review. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2014, 4:S565–S567. doi:10.12980/APJTB.4.2014APJTB-2014-0034.
31. Cabello RR, Ruiz AC, Feregrino RR, Romero LC, Feregrino RR, Zavala JT. Dipylidium caninum infection. BMJ Case Rep. 2011, bcr0720114510. doi:10.1136/bcr.07.2011.4510.
32. Patricia Neira O, Leonor Jofré M, Nelson Muñoz S. Dipylidium caninum infection in a 2 year old infant: Case report and literature review. Rev Chil Infectol. 2008, 25:465–471. doi:10.4067/S0716-10182008000600010.
33. Molina CP, Ogburn J, Adegboyega P. Infection by Dipylidium caninum in an infant. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2003, 127:e157–e159. doi:10.1043/0003-99852003)1272.0.CO;2.
34. Szwaja B, Romański L, Zabczyk M. A case of Dipylidium caninum infection in a child from the southeastern Poland. Wiadomości Parazytol. 2011, 57:175–178.
35. Jiang P, Zhang X, Liu RD, Wang ZQ, Cui J. A human case of zoonotic dog tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum (Eucestoda: Dilepidiidae), in China. Korean J Parasitol. 2017, 55:61–64. doi:10.3347/kjp.2017.55.1.61.
36. Portokalidou S, Gkentzi D, Stamouli V, Varvarigou A, Marangos M, Spiliopoulou I, Dimitriou G. Dipylidium caninum Infection in Children: Clinical Presentation and Therapeutic Challenges. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2019, 38:e157–e159. doi:10.1097/INF.0000000000002235.
37. Asare KK, Opoku YK, Anning AS, Afrifa J, Gyamerah EO. Case report: A case of dipylidiasis in a first-trimester pregnant woman attending a routine antenatal clinic at elmina health centre, Ghana. F1000Research, 2019, 8:857. doi:10.12688/F1000RESEARCH.19081.1.
38. Adam A, Osman M, Hussein M, Hussein Y, Mohammed E. Dipylidium caninum Infection in a 41 -Year- Old Sudanese Man in Nyala, Sudan: The First Reported Case in Sudan in 2006, Al Neelain. Med J. 2012, 2:37–42.
IssueVol 17 No 2 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v17i2.9531
Ctenocephalides canis Dipylidium caninum Dog

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Azarm A, Dalimi A, Pirestani M, Mohammadiha A. Molecular Detection of Dipylidium caninum in Isolated Fleas of Dogs in Meshkinshahr County, Northwest of Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2022;17(2):159-166.