Canine Skin Disease From a Tick-Borne Filarioid

ArticleLast Updated March 20241 min read
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Bezerra-Santos MA, Dantas-Torres F, Ramos RAN, Brianti E, Otranto D. Cercopithifilaria spp. of dogs: little known but prevalent filarioids beneath the skin. Parasit Vectors. 2023;16(1):386. doi:10.1186/s13071-023-06007-5 

Research Note

Most filarioids that infect dogs circulate in the blood; however, microfilaria of Cercopithifilaria spp are found in the dermis, and adults are found in the subcutis. Cercopithifilaria spp are transmitted by and have an overlapping global distribution with Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (ie, brown dog tick). Information on the biology, epidemiology, and clinical aspects of infection in dogs is scarce. These filarioids may be associated with clinical disease, including dermatitis (eg, erythema, papules, pruritus, nonhealing and ulcerative skin lesions), subcutaneous nodules, and chronic polyarthritis. Diagnosis requires collection of a deep skin sample from the shoulder or interscapular region. Treatment information is lacking, but macrocyclic lactones may be effective against microfilaria. Cercopithifilaria spp infection is a potential differential diagnosis for skin disease in dogs.