Parasites and Pestilence
Human Biology 103
D. Scott Smith, MD, instructor
Homo sapiens beware
. . .your zoonotic friends are not the only ones in danger of . . .
Adult worm of Dirofilaria immitis
extracted from the heart and pulmonary artery of a dog.
From emedicine.com: http://author.emedicine.com/ped/topic599.htm.
is derived from the Latin words diro and filum, meaning "evil
thread." In humans, it is the result of accidental zoonotic infection,
with the distribution of infection in humans roughly paralleling the distribution
of infection in animal hosts. Dogs, cats, foxes, and other mammals
are the natural hosts of Dirofilaria species, mosquitoes are the
vector-intermediate hosts, and humans are the dead-end hosts. Given
that man is a dead-end host, worms rarely reach maturity in humans, and
microfilaremia is not seen. Dirofilariasis infection in dogs and
cats can produce a potentially fatal heart condition called heartworm.
In humans, however, dirofilariasis infection is generally benign and asymptomatic.
Presentation in Humans
and Life Cycle
Health and Prevention Strategies
to the top
to the top
to the top
Bret C., et al. "A Solitary Pulmonary Nodule With Zoonotic Implications"
vol 119, pp. 1250-1252, 2001.
Isabel, et al. "Human Subcutaneous Dirofilariasis Caused By
Repens in Ibiza, Spain" American Journal of Tropical Medicine
and Hygiene vol 51(4), pp. 401-404, 1994.
Lynne Shore. Diagnostic Medical Parasitology. 4th Edition.
Washington, D.C.: ASM Press, 2001.
Yezid. Diagnostic Pathology of Parasitic Infections with Clinical
Correlations. 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University
al. "Dirofilariasis in Kuwait: First Report of Human Infection
Due to Dirofilariasis Repens in the Arabian Gulf" American Journal
of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene vol 51(5), pp. 590-592, 1994.
Edward K., David T. John, and Wojciech A. Krotoski, Markell and
Voge's Medical Parasitology. 8th Edition. Philadelphia:
W.B. Saunders Company, 1999.
al. "Human Dirofilariasis in the European Union" Parasitology Today
vol 15(9), pp. 496-499, 1999.
Silvio, et al. "Pitfalls and Difficulties in Histological Diagnosis
of Human Dirofilariasis Due to Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens"
Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease vol 34, pp. 57-64,
K. "Human Pulmonary Dirofilariasis: Review of the Literature" Southern
Medical Journal vol 92(3), pp. 276-279, March, 1999.
Peter J., et al. "Human Extrapulmonary Dirofilariasis in Texas"
Medical Journal vol 93(10), pp. 1009-1010, 2000.
Nicholas, et al. "Improved detection of Dirofilaria repens
DNA by direct polymerase chain reaction" Parasitology International
vol 48, pp. 145-150, 1999.
Esther J. and Jose Rodriguez-Perez "Immunodiagnosis of Human Dirofilariasis
in Puerto Rico" American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
vol 48(4), pp. 536-541, 1993.
Website constructed on May 14, 2001
Last modified on May 24, 2001