Dirofilaria immitis: An emerging parasite in dogs, red foxes and golden jackals in hungary

Z. Tolnai, Z. Széll, Á Sproch, L. Szeredi, T. Sréter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


Hungary was not considered to be a heartworm ( Dirofilaria immitis) endemic country until 2007, when the first autochthonous canine infection was described. Herein we report additional autochthonous heartworm infections in two dogs ( Canis familiaris), twenty red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) ( n= 534; prevalence: 3.7%; 95% CI. = 2.4-5.7%) and two golden jackals ( Canis aureus) ( n= 27; prevalence: 7.4%; 95% CI. = 2.1-23.4%) coming from eight counties. The identification of the parasite was based on morphology, morphometrics and amplification of 12S rDNA followed by sequencing in all cases. Our results indicate that Hungary became a D. immitis endemic country in the past decade. The prevalence and intensity of heartworm infection in wild canids is similar to or lower than that observed in the Mediterranean countries of Europe (3.7-7.4% vs. 0.4-12.7% and 1.5 vs. 2.9-4.4 worms/animal). These findings are in line with the results of the recently developed climate based forecast model to predict the establishment of D. immitis in Hungary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 14 2014


  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Distribution
  • Dog
  • Golden jackal
  • Heartworm
  • Prevalence
  • Red fox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)

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