Authors:Attila Trájer, Antal Rengei, Kinga Farkas-Iványi, and Ákos Bede-Fazekas
Dirofilariosis is an emerging mosquito-borne veterinary and medical problem in the Northern hemisphere. The ecological investigation of 56 canine dirofilariosis cases in new endemic locations was performed in Szeged, Hungary. The aim was to analyse the influence of the spatial patterns of dog abundance and the potential mosquito breeding habitats on the spatial occurrence patterns of dirofilariosis in the city of Szeged. The limnoecological characterisation was based on the fluvial habitat classification of Amoros of natural water bodies; the built environment was evaluated using the UrbanisationScore urbanisation intensity measuring software. Dirofilaria immitis accounted for 51% and D. repens for 34.3% of the dirofilariosis cases, and in 20% of the cases only the Knott’s test was positive. It was concluded that most of the cases were related to locations with a medium to high urbanisation index, although the proximity of mosquito-bearing waters also played an important role in the observed spatial infection patterns. We found that the distance from potential mosquito habitats and the urbanisation intensity determine the abundance of dirofilariosis in urban environments.