To identify the natural vectors of Dirofilaria repens Railliet et Henry, entomological samplings were carried out in four sites within the Lazio region, foci of canine subcutaneous dirofilariasis. Collections were made in 2002–2003 by means of dog-baited and miniature Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps as well as on humans. Microscopy identified 1,576 attracted mosquito females as belonging to six species, but molecular diagnostics detected filarial DNA only in Culex pipiens L. and Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894). Dirofilaria immitis Leidy DNA, D. repens DNA, or both were found in the head and thorax of both mosquitoes. The simultaneous presence of vectors showing diurnal and nocturnal activity patterns is of concern for animal and human health. The finding of D. immitis DNA in mosquitoes in areas where only D. repens was been recovered in dogs also demonstrates that this filarial parasite circulates among carnivores (wild or domesticated pets).
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Vol. 44 • No. 6