Dirofilaria immitis (the canine heartworm) is widespread in the tropics, with prevalence surpassing 30% in high-risk areas. In addition to the suitable climatic conditions that favour mosquito abundance and filarial larva development, there is low compliance with the recommended year-round use of preventives in these transmission hotspots. This represents a major concern, considering that melarsomine (first-line heartworm adulticide) is unavailable in several tropical countries, resulting in the so-called slow-kill protocol being the only available adulticide treatment option. In this article, the members of TroCCAP (Tropical Council for Companion Animal Parasites) review the current distribution of heartworm in the tropics and the availability of melarsomine, and discuss alternatives for the management of heartworm infections in dogs. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Lucas Christian de Sousa-Paula for the preparation of Fig. 1. We also thank the American Heartworm Society for organizing and sponsoring the article collection dedicated to the 2022 American Heartworm Society Triennial Symposium.
© 2023, The Author(s).
- Dirofilaria immitis
- One health