Description of the Nematode Dirofilaria repens (Nematoda, Onchocercidae) Parasitic in Dogs in Ukraine

Keywords: Dirofilaria repens, nematodes, identification, morphometry


Dirofilariasis is a zoonotic disease of domestic and wild carnivores and humans. Subcutaneous migration of the parasite Dirofilaria repens Railliet & Henry, 1911 may cause local swelling with variable localisation. In humans, this parasite can cause damage to the lungs, male genitalia and eyes. The range of D. repens is constantly expanding into new areas and, considering the zoonotic potential of this parasite, it is important to extend the existing data on the morphology of D. repens. The present study provides a morphometric description of D. repens nematodes obtained from subcutaneous tissues of dogs in Ukraine. The aim of this study was to highlight the key features for the identification of parasites of this species. For males, 27 morphometric characteristics were identified, characterising the overall size of the body and the oesophagus, the thickness of the cuticle in the region of the mouth opening, the localisation of the nerve ring and the cloaca, the morphological structure and metric parameters of the spicules, and the length of the tail. For females, 18 morphometric traits were identified that, in addition to common parameters, characterize cuticle thickness in the region of the vulva, localisation of the vulva and anus, body width in the regions of the anus and vulva, and tail length. This report adds to the existing data on the morphological and metric characteristics of D. repens nematodes.


Baisarova. Z. T. 2021. Biologija i morfologija D. repens i D. imitis. International Research Journal, 3 (105). 11-15 [In Russian].

Billups, J., Schenken, J. R., & Beaver, P. C. 1980. Subcutaneous dirofilariasis in Nebraska. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 104, 11-13.

Bozidis, P., Sakkas, H., Pertsalis, A., Christodoulou, A., Kalogeropoulos, C. D., & Papadopoulou, C. 2021. Molecular analysis of Dirofilaria repens isolates from eye-care patients in Greece. Acta Parasitologica, 66 (1), 271-276.

Capelli, G., Genchi, C., Baneth, G., Bourdeau, P., Brianti, E., Cardoso, L., Danesi, P., Fuehrer, H. P., Giannelli, A., Ionică, A. M., Maia, C., Modrý, D., Montarsi, F., Krücken, J., Papadopoulos, E., Petrić, D., Pfeffer, M., Savić, S., Otranto, D., Poppert, S., & Silaghi, C. 2018. Recent advances on Dirofilaria repens in dogs and humans in Europe. Parasites & Vectors, 11 (1), 663.

Dang, T. C., Nguyen, T. H., Do, T. D., Uga, S., Morishima, Y., Sugiyama, H., & Yamasaki, H. 2010. A human case of subcutaneous dirofilariasis caused by Dirofilaria repens in Vietnam: histologic and molecular confirmation. Parasitology Research, 107(4), 1003-1007.

Demiaszkiewicz, A. W., Polańczyk, G., Osińska, B., Pyziel, A. M., Kuligowska, I., & Lachowicz, J. 2011. Morphometric characteristics of Dirofilaria repens Railliet et Henry. 1911 parasite of dogs in Poland. Wiadomości Parazytologiczne, 57(4), 253-256.

Elsayad, M. H., Tolba, M. M., Yehia, M. A. H., Ahmed, A. S., & Abou-Holw, S. A. 2012. Human subcutaneous dirofilariasis: report of two cases of Dirofilaria repens in Alexandria, Egypt. Parasitologists United Journal, 5, 67-72.

Gardiner, C. H., Oberdorfer, C. E., Reyes, J. E., & Pinkus, W. H. 1978. Infection of man by Dirofilaria repens. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 27(6), 1279-1281.

Geissler, N., Ruff, J., Walochnik, J., Ludwig, W., Auer, H., Wiedermann, U., & Geissler, W. 2022. Autochthonous human Dirofilaria repens infection in Austria. Acta Parasitologica, 67(2), 1039-1043.

Gutierrez, Y., Misselevich, I., Fradis, M., Podoshin, L., & Boss, J. H. 1995. Dirofilaria repens infection in northern Israel. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 19(9), 1088-1091.

Hempel, F., Poppert, S., Böker, T., & Schaaf, B. 2012. 75-year-old woman with symptoms of the eye. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 137(33), 1641-1642.

Hennocq, Q., Helary, A., Debelmas, A., Monsel, G., Labat, A., Bertolus, C., Martin, C., & Caumes, E. 2020. Oral migration of Dirofilaria repens after creeping dermatitis. Parasite, 27, 16.

Iddawela, D., Ehambaram, K., & Wickramasinghe, S. 2015. Human ocular dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria repens in Sri Lanka. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 8(12), 1022-1026.

Khedr, S. I., Said, D. E., Zeitoun, I. M., & Hussein, N. M. 2021. Scanning electron microscopy as a confirmatory tool for morphological identification of Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens. Parasitologists United, 14(1), 22-28.

Kombade, S. P., Mantri, R. S., Ambhore, N. A., & Karyakarte, R. P. 2015. Subcutaneous human Dirofilariasis in Vidarbha. Indian Journal of Pathology & Microbiology, 58(3), 387-388.

Kravchenko, V. M., & Itin, G. S. 2012. Morphological characteristics of Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens. Theory and Practice of Parasitic Disease Control, 13, 197-200 (in Russian).

Leccia, N., Patouraux, S., Carpentier, X., Boissy, C., Del Giudice, P., Parks, S., Michiels, J. F., & Ambrosetti, D. 2012. Pseudo-tumor of the scrotum, a rare clinical presentation of dirofilariasis: a report of two autochtonous cases due to Dirofilaria repens. Pathogens and Global Health, 106(6), 370-372.

Lent. H., & Freitas, J. F. T. de 1937. Dirofilariose sub-cutanea dos cães no Brasil. Memórias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 32(3), 443-448.

Levine, N. D. 1980. Nematode parasites of domestic animals and of man. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Co.

López, J., Valiente-Echeverría, F., Carrasco, M., Mercado, R., & Abarca, K. 2012. Morphological and molecular identification of canine filariae in a semi-rural district of the Metropolitan Region in Chile. Revista Chilena de Infectologia, 29(3), 248-289.

Manfredi, M. T., DiCerbo, A., & Genchi, M. 2007. Biology of filarial worms parasitizing dogs and cats. Mappe Parassitologiche, 8, 40-45.

Matějů, J., Chanová, M., Modrý, D., Mitková, B., Hrazdilová, K., Žampachová, V., & Kolářová, L. 2016. Dirofilaria repens: emergence of autochthonous human infections in the Czech Republic (case reports). BMC Infectious Diseases, 16, 171.

McCall, J. W., Genchi, C., Kramer, L. H., Guerrero, J., & Venco, L. (2008). Heartworm disease in animals and humans. Advances in Parasitology, 66, 193-285.

Orihel, T. C., & Beaver, P. C. 1965. Morphology and relationship of Dirofilaria tenuis and Dirofilaria conjunctivae. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 14, 1030-1043.

Otranto, D., Brianti, E., Gaglio, G., Dantas-Torres, F., Azzaro, S., & Giannetto, S. 2011. Human ocular infection with Dirofilaria repens (Railliet and Henry, 1911) in an area endemic for canine dirofilariasis. American journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 84(6), 1002-1004.

Pampiglione, S., Rivasi, F., & Gustinelli, A. 2009. Dirofilarial human cases in the Old World, attributed to Dirofilaria immitis: a critical analysis. Histopathology, 54, 192-204.

Pampiglione, S., Rivasi, F., Angeli, G., Boldorini, R., Incensati, R. M., Pastormerlo, M., Pavesi, M., & Ramponi, A. 2001. Dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria repens in Italy, an emergent zoonosis: report of 60 new cases. Histopathology, 38(4), 344-354.

Popescu, I., Tudose, I., Racz, P., Muntau, B., Giurcaneanu, C., & Poppert, S. 2012. Human Dirofilaria repens Infection in Romania: a case report. Case Reports in Infectious Diseases, 2012, 472976.

Pupić-Bakrač, A., Pupić-Bakrač, J., Beck, A., Jurković, D., Polkinghorne, A., & Beck, R. 2021. Dirofilaria repens microfilaremia in humans: case description and literature review. One Health, 13, 100306.

Railliet, A., & Henry. A. 1911. Remarques au sujet des deux notes de MM. Bauche et Bernard. Bulletin de la Societe de Pathologie Exotique, 4(7). 485-488.

Rivasi, F., Boldorini, R., Criante, P., Leutner, M., & Pampiglione, S. 2006. Detection of Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens DNA by polymerase chain reaction in embedded paraffin tissues from two human pulmonary locations. Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica, et Immunologica Scandinavica, 114(7-8), 567-574.

Sassi, S. H., Abid, L., Dhouib, R., Mrad, K., Bouguila, H., Abbes, I., Driss, M., Ben Ghorbel, R., & Ben Romdhane, K. 2006. Conjunctival dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria Repens. A new Tunisian case. Journal Francais D'ophtalmologie, 29(2), e5.

Simón, F., Diosdado, A., Siles-Lucas, M., Kartashev, V., & González-Miguel, J. 2022. Human dirofilariosis in the 21st century: a scoping review of clinical cases reported in the literature. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 69(5), 2424-2439.

Simón, F., Siles-Lucas, M., Morchón, R., González-Miguel, J., Mellado, I., Carretón, E., & Montoya-Alonso, J. A. (2012). Human and animal dirofilariasis: the emergence of a zoonotic mosaic. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 25(3), 507-544.

Smith, R., Murillo, D. F. B., Chenoweth, K., Barua, S., Kelly, P. J., Starkey, L., Blagburn, B., Wood, T., & Wang, C. 2022. Nationwide molecular survey of Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens in companion dogs and cats, United States of America. Parasites & Vectors, 15(1), 367.

Sonin, M. D. 1975. Essentials of nematodology. Filariases of animals and man and the diseases caused by them. Nauka, Moscow, 1975 (in Russian).

Suzuki, J., Kobayashi, S., Okata, U., Matsuzaki, H., Mori, M., Chen, K. R., & Iwata, S. 2015. Molecular analysis of Dirofilaria repens removed from a subcutaneous nodule in a Japanese woman after a tour to Europe. Parasite, 22, 2.

Tasić, S., Stoiljković, N., Miladinović-Tasić, N., Tasić, A., Mihailović, D., Rossi, L., Gabrielli, S., & Cancrini, G. 2011. Subcutaneous dirofilariosis in South-East Serbia-case report. Zoonoses and Public Health, 58(5), 318-322.

Vakalis, N. C., & Himonas, C. A. 1997. Human and canine dirofilariasis in Greece. Parassitologia, 39(4), 389-391.

Vucaj Cirilovic, V., Dobrosavljev, M., Niciforovic, D., Donat, D., Bogdanovic-Stojanovic, D., & Jukovic, M. 2014. Dirofilariasis of the breast: sonographic appearance. Journal of Clinical Uultrasound, 42(7), 433-435.

Wong, M. M., & Brummer, M. E. 1978. Cuticular morphology of five species of Dirofilaria: a scanning electron microscope study. Journal of Parasitology, 64(1), 108-114.

How to Cite
Yevstafieva , V., Stybel, V., Melnychuk, V., Gutyj, B., Leno, M., Kravchenko, S., Kyrychko , O., Dmitrenko, N., Syzonenko , N., & Opara, N. (2023). Description of the Nematode Dirofilaria repens (Nematoda, Onchocercidae) Parasitic in Dogs in Ukraine. Zoodiversity, 57(4).