Eighty-one dogs in the Chungnam province were tested for heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis)
infection by ELISA (SNAP test, IDEXX Laboratories, Maine, USA). Seventeen (20.9%)
of the 81 samples were found to be positive and further analyzed by 16S rRNA sequencing.
In this study, all dogs tested lived outdoors. Using the chi(2) test and Fisher's
exact test, no significant differences in the prevalence of dirofilariasis were observed
among different gender and age groups, although the prevalence of this disease among
dogs 2-4yrs of age remains highest. Sequence analysis revealed that the species prevalent
in Chungnam province were genetically distinct from the type strain of D. immitis
based on the nucleotide deletion found at position nt 276 (cytosine) and nucleotide
substitution at position 428 (G to A) of the partial 16S rRNA sequence of the type
strain. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis suggests at least 2 groups of D. immitis
circulating in the Chungnam area between the year 2007 and 2008.
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