African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Prevalence of canine Dirofilaria immitis infection in the city of Algiers, Algeria

Ben-Mahdi Meriem-Hind* and Madani Mohamed
Veterinary National Superior School of Algiers, P. O. Box 161, Hacène Badi, El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 September 2009
  •  Published: 31 October 2009


Heartworm disease is caused by Dirofilaria immitis a zoonotic, vector-borne parasite and one of the most pathogenic nematode parasites of the dog. The epidemiological status of this parasitosis in Algeria stays to this day unknown even though this country has the ideal biotope to the development of this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of D. immitis infection in dogs from Algiers, in the north of Algeria. Blood samples were collected from 184 dogs from November 2006 to September 2007 and were examined by the modified Knott method to detect circulating microfilaria. A total of 34 subjects were microfilaria positive, giving a prevalence value of 18.48%. All the samples were further tested by antigen-ELISA in order to detect dogs with prepatent or occult heartworm infections. The prevalence rose to 24.46% (with 45 seropositives dogs). More male (14.13%) than female (10.33%) dogs were affected in this study, although there was no significant difference between both groups. With regard to general health status, our datashowed a high prevalence of 18.48% of asymptomatic carriers of the parasite D. immitis, only 5.98% of the positive samples were from unhealthy dogs. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). This first report on the status of D. Immitisinfection in domestic dogs in Algiers, suggests that heartworm treatment and adequate prophylaxis should be undertaken to control D. Immitis infection in the canine population of Algiers city in Algeria.


Key words: Dirofilaria immitis, prevalence, ELISA, sexe distribution, dogs, Algiers.