Molecular detection of zoonotic filarioids in Culex spp. from Portugal

R R S Manoj, M S Latrofa, M A Cavalera, J A Mendoza-Roldan, C Maia, D Otranto

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To investigate the role of dipterans in the transmission of Onchocerca lupi and other zoonotic filarioids, samples were collected from different sites in Algarve, southern Portugal, morphologically identified and molecularly tested for filarioids. Culex sp. (72.8%) represented the predominant genus followed by Culicoides sp. (11.8%), Ochlerotatus sp. (9.7%), Culiseta sp. (4.5%), Aedes sp. (0.9%) and Anopheles sp. (0.3%). Nineteen (2.8%) specimens scored positive for filarioids, with Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (2%) positive for Dirofilaria immitis (1.4%), Dirofilaria repens, Acanthocheilonema reconditum, Onchocerca lupi, unidentified species of Filarioidea (0.2%, each) and Onchocercidae (0.6%). Additionally, Culiseta longiareolata (6.5%), Ochlerotatus caspius (3%) and Culex laticinctus (0.2%) scored positive for unidentified Onchocercidae, A. reconditum and for O. lupi, respectively. This is the first report of the occurrence of DNA of O. lupi, D. repens and A. reconditum in Culex spp. in Portugal. Information regarding the vectors and the pathogens they transmit may help to adopt proper prophylactic and control measures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2021


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