Parasitology

Research Article

Species diversity of dermal microfilariae of the genus Cercopithifilaria infesting dogs in the Mediterranean region

DOMENICO OTRANTOa1 c1, EMANUELE BRIANTIa2, FILIPE DANTAS-TORRESa1a3, GUADALUPE MIRÓa4, MARIA STEFANIA LATROFAa1, YASEN MUTAFCHIEVa5 and ODILE BAINa6

a1 Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Zootecnia, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy

a2 Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy

a3 Departamento de Imunologia, Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães (Fiocruz-PE), Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

a4 Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense, de Madrid, Spain

a5 Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

a6 Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR 7205 CNRS, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France

SUMMARY

Following the recent description of microfilariae of a Cercopithifilaria sp. in a dog from Sicily, Italy, (herein after referred to as Cercopithifilaria sp. I), numerous skin samples were collected from dogs in the Mediterranean region. In addition to Cercopithifilaria sp. I (185·7 ± 7·2 μm long), microfilariae of 2 other species were identified, namely Cercopithifilaria grassii (651·7 ± 23·6 μm long) and a yet undescribed microfilaria, Cercopithifilaria sp. II (264·4 ± 20·2 μm long, with evident lateral alae). The morphological differentiation among the 3 species of dermal microfilariae was confirmed by differences in cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and ribosomal 12S sequences examined (mean level of interspecific pairwise distance of 11·4%, and 17·7%, respectively). Phylogenetic analyses were concordant in clustering these with other sequences of Cercopithifilaria spp. to the exclusion of Dirofilaria spp., Onchocerca spp. and Acanthocheilonema spp. Dermal microfilariae collected (n = 132) were morphologically identified as Cercopithifilaria sp. I (n = 108, 81·8%), Cercopithifilaria sp. II (n = 17, 12·9%), whereas only 7 (5·3%) were identified as C. grassii. Mixed infestations were detected in all sites examined. The great diversity of these neglected filarioids in dogs is of biological interest, considering the complex interactions occurring among hosts, ticks and Cercopithifilaria spp. in different environments.

(Received May 03 2012)

(Revised June 14 2012)

(Revised July 11 2012)

(Revised July 20 2012)

(Accepted July 21 2012)

(Online publication August 23 2012)

Key words

  • Cercopithifilaria spp.;
  • Cercopithifilaria grassii ;
  • dog;
  • biodiversity;
  • dermal microfilariae;
  • histology

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Zootecnia, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Tel/Fax: +39 080 4679839. E-mail: domenico.otranto@uniba.it

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