infects the heart in dogs and cats, causing heartworm disease. Therefore,
in canines and felines, dirofilariasis infection is synonymous with heartworm.
Figure 1: Dirofilaria immitis
adults in the right ventricle of a dog's heart (post-mortem).
Image from Ohio State University: http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~parasite/dirofilaria.html.
and D. tenuis have
also been called D. conjunctiva
and Loa extraocularis
due to their propensity for infecting the conjunctiva or other locations
near the eye (Gutierrez).
Figure 2: Adult female worm of D.repens
species located under the bulbar conjunctiva
in the right eye of a 51-year-old farmer
from the Po river valley (northwestern Italy).
Image from Atlas of Medical Parasitology:
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subdermataare sometimes collectively referred
to as D. ursi-like, due
to the fact that the immature, necrotic worms of these two species are
not easily differentiated when found in humans. They also have the
same geographic distribution, namely the northern United States and Canada
and D. lutrae are sometimes
collectively referred to as D. immitis-like
because they are morphologically indistinguishable from D. immitis
(Skidmore et al).