Combined Serological Detection of Circulating Angiostrongylus vasorum Antigen and Parasite-specific Antibodies in Dogs from Hungary

Manuela Schnyder, Roland Schaper, Zoltán Lukács, Sándor Hornok, Róbert Farkas

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of the nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum, also known as the French heartworm, is increasingly being reported from various European countries. The adults of this parasite species live in the pulmonary arteries and right cardiac ventricle of wild canids and domestic dogs. Larval stages and eggs in the lungs induce inflammatory verminous pneumonia, causing severe respiratory disease in dogs. Furthermore, haematological and neurological signs and even death may occur. In Hungary, A. vasorum has been identified in red foxes, golden jackals and in two dogs and some slugs. In this first large-scale survey, 1247 sera from pet dogs were collected and tested by an ELISA for the detection of circulating antigen of A. vasorum and by a separate ELISA to detect specific antibodies against the parasite. A total of 1.36% (n = 17, 95 % confidence intervals, CI: 0.80 – 2.17 %) of the animals were positive in both ELISAs, while 1.76 % (n = 22, CI: 1.11 – 2.66 %) of the tested dogs were antigen-positive only and 2.73 % (n = 34, CI: 1.90 – 3.79 %) were positive for specific antibodies only. Regions with antigen- and antibodypositive animals overlapped and were distributed over nearly the whole sampled areas of the country. A considerable number of cases was observed in Budapest and also in the southern part of the country bordering Croatia, while in the most eastern part bordering Ukraine no positive samples were detected. These results confirm the endemic occurrence of A. vasorum in dogs originating from different parts of Hungary and the significant advantages of A. vasorum serology in epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalParasitology research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 24 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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