Heartworm adulticide treatment: a tropical perspective

Filipe Dantas-Torres*, Jennifer Ketzis, Gabriela Pérez Tort, Andrei Daniel Mihalca, Gad Baneth, Domenico Otranto, Malaika Watanabe, Bui Khanh Linh, Tawin Inpankaew, Pablo Borrás, Sangaran Arumugam, Barend Louis Penzhorn, Adrian Patalinghug Ybañez, Peter Irwin, Rebecca J. Traub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.]

Original languageAmerican English
Article number148
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Doxycycline
  • Ivermectin
  • Melarsomine
  • Mosquitoes
  • Moxidectin
  • One health
  • Prevention


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