Filarial worms in dogs in southeast asia

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Manusvee Kaikuntod
Kriangkrai Thongkorn
Saruda Tiwananthagorn
Chavalit Boonyapakorn


Filariasis is a public health problem in tropical and subtropical areas and thus an endemic is commonly found in Southeast Asian countries. The most frequently-found species of filarial worms in dogs in this region is Dirofilaria immitis, with the prevalence of infection rates ranges from 1- 46%. In 2017, the prevalence of dogs infected with D. immitis in Songkhla and Satun, Thailand, was 24.1% In addition, the infections of Brugia malayi in both dogs and humans were reported in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, and Thailand. In 2011, the prevalence B. malayi infection in Malaysia was 36.20%. Infections of other species of filarial worms including D. repens, B. pahangi and Acanthocheilonema reconditum were reported in dogs in this region as well as Thailand. Filarial worms are both pathogenic and non-pathogenic. Some species such as D. immitis cause heartworm disease that is dangerous to their hosts and lead to zoonotic infection in its accidental host as evidenced in the previous report of lung lesion in human. Although B. malayi primarily causes elephantiasis in human, its infection is also found in reservoir animals. The purpose of this article is therefore to review literature related to filariasis by focusing on classification, biology, and life cycle of filarial worms, epidemiology of filarial worms in Southeast Asia, clinical sign and filariasis diagnosis. This review is expected to contribute to effective disease control and prevention strategies in the future.


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Kaikuntod, M., Thongkorn, K., Tiwananthagorn, S., & Boonyapakorn, C. (2018). Filarial worms in dogs in southeast asia. Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 16(2), 1–17. Retrieved from
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