Massive microfilaremia in a dog subclinically infected with Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides

Clara Muñoz, Moisés Gonzálvez*, Alicia Rojas, Carlos Martínez-Carrasco, Gad Baneth, Eduardo Berriatua, Juana Ortiz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Canine filarioids are worldwide distributed nematodes transmitted by arthropods with variable virulence depending on the species. Dirofilaria immitis is the most virulent and serological antigen tests are commonly employed to detect it. This study reports on the heaviest cavity filariasis recorded so far in a dog, which showed no apparent clinical signs of infection. The 6-year-old male was positive to a D. immitis antigen test. Blood samples collected and analyzed with the modified Knott's test for microfilariae revealed 264,367 microfilariae/ml. In a post-mortem examination 791 adult filarial nematodes were found in the dog's thoracic and peritoneal cavities. Morphological and molecular analysis identified the nematode as Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides and no other species were present. This is evidence that massive A. dracunculoides infections in dogs may not be clinically evident, they may cause serologic cross-reaction with D. immitis infection and become a life-threatening condition if dogs are treated with a microfilaricidal treatment without previously performing an adequate diagnosis.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102070
JournalParasitology International
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides
  • Canine
  • Filarioid
  • PCR


Dive into the research topics of 'Massive microfilaremia in a dog subclinically infected with Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this