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No evidence of Dirofilaria repens infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Brandenburg, Germany


Dirofilaria (D.) repens is a nematode causing dirofilariasis in dogs, cats and in humans. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are well-known wildlife reservoirs for zoonotic diseases. These two species are highly abundant in Germany, frequently exposed to vector mosquitoes and potentially susceptible to Dirofilaria infections. To obtain data about D. repens infections in these animals, red fox and raccoon dog carcasses (hunted or found dead) were collected from January to September 2009 in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany. Lung tissue samples were subjected to DNA extraction and examined for the presence of Dirofilaria DNA by means of D. repens-specific PCR. D. repens-specific DNA could not be amplified from the lungs of red foxes (n = 122; 0 %) nor from the lungs of raccoon dogs (n = 13; 0 %), suggesting a limited role if a role at all in the natural transmission cycle of D. repens in Brandenburg.

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Correspondence to Vera Härtwig.

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Härtwig, V., Schulze, C., Pfeffer, M. et al. No evidence of Dirofilaria repens infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Brandenburg, Germany. Parasitol Res 115, 867–871 (2016).

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  • Dirofilaria repens
  • PCR
  • Lung tissue
  • Vulpes vulpes
  • Red foxes
  • Nyctereutes procyonoides
  • Raccoon dogs