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New insights into the ecology and biology of Acanthocheilonema reconditum (Grassi, 1889) causing canine subcutaneous filariosis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2012

Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Zootecnia, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy
Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR 7205 CNRS, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Zootecnia, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy
*Corresponding author: Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Zootecnia, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Tel/Fax: +39 080 4679839. E-mail:


In spite of its wide distribution among dogs and the evidence of its implication as a zoonotic agent, scant information is available on the biology of Acanthocheilonema reconditum (Spirurida, Onchocercidae). In this study, blood samples from 152 Sicilian dogs were examined for A. reconditum microfilariae at the beginning of the study and 1 year later. The periodicity of microfilaraemia was investigated by bleeding 2 highly microfilaraemic dogs twice a day for 10 days and, later on, every 2 weeks for 1 year and a third animal every 3 h for 96 h. Fleas and ticks infesting dogs were collected and dissected for the detection of A. reconditum larvae. The prevalence of infestation was 11·2% (17/152) and 13·3% (16/120) at the beginning and at the end of the study, with a 1 year cumulative incidence of 5·9%. Although dogs bled twice a day showed a higher number of microfilariae in most of the morning samples, the absence of any circadian rhythm was suggested by data of the third experiment conducted by bleeding a dog every 3 h for 4 days. A. reconditum developing forms were detected in 5·1% (4/78) of dissected fleas, but not in any of the 272 ticks. The study provides new insights into the biology and ecology of this dog filarioid in its definitive and intermediate hosts.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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