Ashley Laird
Parasites and Pestilence
Human Biology 103
Spring, 2001
D. Scott Smith, MD, instructor
 
 

Homo sapiens beware . . .your zoonotic friends are not the only ones in danger of . . .

Dirofilariasis
 

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.


  Introduction

    Dirofilariasis 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.


Agents
Synonyms
History of Discovery
Clinical Presentation in Humans
Transmission and Life Cycle
Reservoir
Vector
Incubation Period
Morphology
Diagnostic Tests
Management and Therapy
Epidemiology
Public Health and Prevention Strategies
 
 

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Website constructed on May 14, 2001
Last modified on May 24, 2001