Prevalence of Dirofilaria immitis in dogs from Hatay province, Turkey

Creative Commons License

Yaman M., Guzel M., KOLTAŞ İ. S., Demirkazik M., Aktas H.

JOURNAL OF HELMINTHOLOGY, vol.83, no.3, pp.255-260, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 83 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0022149x08198832
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.255-260
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of canine dirofilariosis in Hatay province, south of Turkey. A total of 269 blood samples were collected from owned dogs in this multi-centre survey between March and July 2006. Blood samples were examined by modified Knott and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques to detect circulating microfilariae and antigens of Dirofilaria immitis, respectively. Seventy out of 269 dogs (26.0%) were positive for D. immitis. However, 61.4% of positive dogs had occult infection. The prevalence of canine dirofilariosis was heterogeneous in Hatay province, with higher values in shoreline (33.0%) and riverside (30.9%) areas followed by the lowland (25.5%) or mountainous (15.2%) areas. No statistically significant differences were observed in relation to sex (females, 33.3%; males, 24.4%, P > 0.05). When evaluating the prevalence of D. immitis by age, the highest prevalence was observed in dogs older than 4 years of age. Large breeds (29.6%) and the dogs living outdoors (30.2%) showed a higher prevalence in comparison to small breeds (21.4%) and the dogs living indoors (10.5%), respectively. In conclusion, according to the results of this study canine dirofilariosis had a high prevalence in Hatay province. Therefore, prophylaxis against heartworm is advisable to decrease the incidence of canine dirofilariosis.