Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Online ISSN : 1347-7439
Print ISSN : 0916-7250
Dirofilaria immitis Infection of a Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) in a Japanese Zoo with Mitochondrial DNA Analysis
Koichi MURATATokuma YANAITakeshi AGATSUMAShigehiko UNI
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2003 Volume 65 Issue 8 Pages 945-947


Three dog heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) were detected in the lumen of the right cardiac ventriculus and of the pulmonary artery of a captive female snow leopard (Uncia uncia) that died of pancreatic carcinoma at a zoo in Japan. Neither clinical respiratory nor circulatory symptoms caused by the heartworm infection were observed. The filarial worms were identified as D. immitis from the morphologic characteristics of the esophagus, the presence of faint longitudinal ridges on the cuticular surface, the situation of vulva posterior to the esophagus, and the measurements of the body. The heartworms from the snow leopard were identical to that of D. immitis from dogs in the sequence of the cytochrome oxidase I region in the mitochondrial DNA. This host record is the first of D. immitis in U. uncia.

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