Skip to main content Accessibility help

Dirofilaria infections in working dogs in Slovakia

  • M. Miterpáková (a1), D. Antolová (a1), Z. Hurníková (a1), P. Dubinský (a1), A. Pavlačka (a2) and J. Németh (a3)...


A monitoring programme aimed at the diagnosis of subcutaneous dirofilariasis and heartworm disease in working (police and military) dogs in Slovakia has been performed during the period of September 2007 to February 2008. In co-operation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence, in total, 710 dogs (591 police dogs and 119 military dogs) were investigated for the presence of microfilariae in blood. All police and military dogs in active service held on the territory of Slovakia were included. Microfilariae were detected in 118 (20.0%) police dogs and 10 (8.4%) military dogs. The most infected individuals originated from southern parts of Slovakia (Trnava region 53.6% and Nitra region 39.6%); the prevalence was low in northern regions (Žilina 3.1% and Prešov 6.6%). In several districts of southern Slovakia, the prevalence of subcutaneous dirofilariasis in working dogs exceeded 40%. In all infected animals, the autochthonous origin of the disease was confirmed; however, due to the frequent movement of working dogs, it was not possible to identify the exact locality of infection. At present, a dog living in Nemšová village in Trenčín district (north-western part of the country) is regarded as the northernmost localized autochthonous case of subcutaneous dirofilariasis in Slovakia. In three dogs, co-infection of Dirofilaria repens and Dirofilaria immitis was detected. High prevalence rates in working dogs and the zoonotic characteristic of the disease represent an undoubtedly important veterinary and medical problem that requires the urgent introduction of prophylactic and control measures.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Chauve, C.M. (1997) Importance in France of the infestation by Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens in dogs. Parassitologia 39, 393395.
Dimitrijevic, S., Tasic, A., Tasic, S., Adamovic, V. & Ilic, T. (2007) Filariosis in dogs in Serbia. pp. 201in Genchi, C., Rinaldi, L. & Cringoli, G. (Eds) Mappe Parassitologie – Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in dog and cat and human infection. Napoli, Italy, Rolando Editore.
Duscher, G., Feiler, A., Wille-Piazzai, W., Bakonyi, T., Leschnik, M., Miterpáková, M., Kolodziejek, J., Nowotny, N. & Joachim, A. (2009) Detection of Dirofilaria in Austrian dog. Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 122, 199203.
Fok, E., Kiss, G., Majoros, G., Jacsó, O., Farkas, R. & Gyurkovszky, M. (2007) Preliminary results of an epidemiological survey on dirofilariosis of dogs and cats in Hungary. pp. 195196in Genchi, C., Rinaldi, L. & Cringoli, G. (Eds) Mappe Parassitologie – Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in dog and cat and human infection. Napoli, Italy, Rolando Editore.
Genchi, C., Rinaldi, L., Cascone, C., Mortarino, M. & Cringoli, G. (2005) Is heartworm really spreading in Europe? Veterinary Parasitology 133, 137148.
Georgieva, D., Kirkova, Z. & Ivanov, A. (2001) A study on the incidence and diagnostic of dirofilariosis (heartworm disease) in carnivores. Bulgarian Journal of Veterinary Medicine 4, 231236.
Jalili, N., Kobzová, D., Novák, L., Dubinský, P. & Babál, P. (2007) The first case of human dirofilariosis in Slovakia. Prvý prípad ludskej dirofilariózy na Slovensku. Acta Tropica 5, 7578.
Knott, J. (1939) A method for making microfilarial surveys on day blood. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 33, 191196.
Mantovani, A. & Jackson, R.F. (1966) Transplacental transmission of microfilariae of Dirofilaria immitis in the dog. Journal of Parasitology 52, 116.
Miterpáková, M., Antolová, D., Hurníková, Z. & Dubinský, P. (2008) Dirofilariosis in Slovakia – a new endemic area in Central Europe. Helminthologia 45, 2023.
Ondriska, F., Lengyel, D., Miterpáková, M., Valentová, D., Beladičová, V., Lengyelová, A., Strehárová, A. & Dubinský, P. (2008) The next case of human dirofilariosis in the Slovak Republic. 71 pp. Proceedings of the 8th Czech and Slovak Parazitological Days, Sezimovo Ústí, Czech Republic, 19–23 May. České Budějovice, Czech Republic, Czech Society for Parasitology.
Peribanez, M.A., Lucientes, J., Arce, S., Morales, M., Castillo, J.A. & Gracia, M.J. (2001) Histochemical differentiation of Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens and Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides microfilariae by staining with a commercial kit, Leucognost-SP®. Veterinary Parasitology 102, 173175.
Rinaldi, L., Musela, V., Biggeri, A. & Cringoli, G. (2006) New insights into the applications of geographical information system and remote sensing in veterinary parasitology. Geospatial Health 1, 3347.
Rishniw, M., Barr, S.C., Simpson, K.W., Frongillo, M., Franz, M. & Dominquez Alpizar, J.L. (2006) Discrimination between six species of canine microfilariae by a single polymerase chain reaction. Veterinary Parasitology 135, 303314.
Svobodová, V., Svobodová, Z., Beladičová, V. & Valentová, D. (2005) First case of canine dirofilariosis in Slovakia: a case report. Veterinary Medicine Czech 50, 510512.
Todd, K.S. & Howland, T.P. (1983) Transplacental transmission of Dirofilaria immitis microfilariae in the dog. Journal of Parasitology 69, 371.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed