General information

In Europe alone, five different filarial species are known to cause filariasis in dogs: Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens as well as Dipetalonema reconditum, Dipetalonema (Acanthocheilonema) dracunculoides and Cercopithifilaria grassi. Dirofilaria immitis causes "cardiovascular dirofilariasis" (heartworm disease), Dirofilaria repens causes "cutaneous dirofilariasis". Both types of dirofilariasis are zoonoses and are transmitted by mosquitoes, including the common house mosquito (Culex pipiens) which is very common in Germany. According to literature, the other three filarial species are considered apathogenic, a fact which will not be tenable in future, at least concerning Dip. reconditum and possibly Dip. dracunculoides, too.