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You are here:Home » Molecular Biology » MB-Infectious Disease » Heartworm, Canine (Dirofilaria immitis)

Heartworm, Canine (Dirofilaria immitis)

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Specifications

Heartworm is a parasitic roundworm (Dirofilaria immitis) that is spread from host to host through the bites of mosquitoes. The heartworm is a type of filaria, a small thread-like worm. The definitive host is the dog but it can also infect cats, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other animals, such as ferrets, sea lions and even, under very rare circumstances, humans. The parasite is commonly called 'heartworm' because the adult reproductive stage of its life cycle resides primarily in the right ventricle of its host where it can live for many years. Heartworm infection may result in serious disease for the host.
Catalog #H1830
Heartworms go through several life stages before they become adults infecting the heart of the host animal. The worms require the mosquito as an intermediate stage in order to complete their life cycle. Development in the mosquito is temperature dependent, requiring approximately two weeks of temperature at or above 27°C. Below a threshold temperature of 14°C, development cannot occur, and the cycle will be halted. As a result, transmission is limited to warm months, and duration of the transmission season varies geographically. The period between the initial infection when the dog is bitten by a mosquito and the maturation of the worms into adults living in the heart takes 6 to 7 months in dogs and is known as the 'prepatent period'.
After infection, the third stage larval heartworms (L3) deposited by the mosquito grow for a week or two and molt to the fourth larval stage (L4) under the skin at the site of the mosquito bite. Then they migrate to the muscles of the chest and abdomen and 45 to 60 days after infection, molt to the fifth stage (L5, immature adult). Between 75 and 120 days after infection these immature heartworms then enter the bloodstream and are carried through the heart to reside in the pulmonary artery. Over the next 3 to 4 months they increase greatly in size. The female adult worms are about 30cm in length, and males are about 23cm with a coiled tail. By approximately 6.5 to 7 months after infection, the adult worms have mated and the females begin giving birth to live young, called microfilariae.
The microfilariae circulate in the bloodstream for as long as two years, waiting for the next stage in their life cycle in the gut of a bloodsucking mosquito. When ingested by a mosquito, the microfilariae undergo a series of molts to the infective third larval stage and then migrate to the salivary glands of the mosquito, where they wait to infect another host. The incubation period required to reach the stage where the microfilariae become transmittable to another host can be as little as two weeks or as long as six weeks, depending on the warmth of the climate, and the larval life cycle ceases entirely if the ambient temperature drops below 14°C.
ApplicationsSuitable for use in ELISA for the determination of dirofilaria immitis antigen in serum or plasma from canine and feline. Other applications not tested.
Recommended DilutionsOptimal dilution determined by the researcher.
Storage and StabilityMay be stored at 4°C. For long-term storage, aliquot and store at 4°C. Do not freeze. Aliquots are stable for 6 months after receipt. For maximum recovery of product, centrifuge the original vial prior to removing the cap. Further dilutions can be made in assay buffer.
SourceDirofilaria immitis
PurityHighly Purified
Concentration~0.1mg/ml
FormSupplied as a liquid in 0.05M PBS, pH 7.4, 0.1% sodium azide.
Important NoteThis product as supplied is intended for research use only, not for use in human, therapeutic or diagnostic applications without the expressed written authorization of United States Biological.


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