Volume 43, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Three generations of beagles were monitored for microfilaremia (mf) and clinical disease during repeated infection with and were selectively bred for offspring manifesting limb edema and low or amicrofilaremia. A high microfilaremic female mated to a high microfilaremic male produced 7 pups, 6 of which maintained mf >1,000/ml for >2 years after 5 monthly infections of 10 infective larvae each. An uninfected female mated to another high mf male produced 5 pups, 4 of which did not exceed 1,000 mf/ml 7 months after initiation of the repeating infection regimen; 1 of these remained amicrofilaremic after 2 additional challenges. Neither the parents nor the offspring from these matings manifested chronic limb edema. Two matings were conducted with offspring from the microfilaremic female by breeding siblings with the lowest mf and breeding siblings with the highest mf. The high mf siblings produced 4/5 offspring manifesting chronic limb edema (≥7 months duration) and either no mf (in 2 dogs) or <100 mf/ml after the repeating infection regimen. The lower mf siblings produced 5 offspring, all with > 1,000 mf/ml 6 months after the initiation of the repeating infection regimen; none manifested edema. Comparisons of IgG antibody levels, specific for extracts of adult worms, showed no consistent differences between these 2 litters of dogs that could be associated with limb edema or mf when monitored for 16 months; however, the onset of lymph node enlargement was much earlier in the group of dogs manifesting limb edema than in the other litter.


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