A Survey for the Microfilariae of the Canine Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis, in the Calgary Region of Southern Alberta
Frimeth, J.P.; Arai, H.P.
Canadian Veterinary Journal 25(1): 14-16
A blood survey for the prevalence of the microfilariae of the canine heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis was conducted in the Calgary area of southern Alberta between November 1977 and August 1979. A total of 514 blood samples was examined by the modified Knott's test. All of the samples were negative for D. immitis microfilariae. Wright's stained blood smears taken from 19 animals at the Calgary Zoo also proved negative. One smear from a male two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) contained sheathless microfilariae which were distinguishable from those of D. immitis. These results, as well as mail survey data indicate that D. immitis is not endemic in the Calgary area. It is recommended that the modified Knott's test be used for similar large scale sampling studies. In addition, it is suggested that the testing of both native and exotic zoo animals which could serve as definitive hosts of D. immitis be continued. These animals may become local sources of infection or introduce other species of microfilariae which will have to be differentiated from those of D. immitis.