We tried to determine the epidemiology and species of human dirofilariasis observed at two tertiary care hospitals in Kerala. We searched the hospital database to identify cases of dirofilariosis from January 2005 to March 2020. Along with human isolates, one dog Dirofilaria isolate was also subjected to PCR and sequencing of pan filarial primers cytochrome oxidase subunits 1 and 12S rDNA. We documented 78 cases of human dirofilariosis. The orbit, eyelid, and conjunctiva were the most commonly affected sites. Molecular characterization identified one dog and five human isolates as Candidatus Dirofilaria Hongkongensis. A rare case of subconjunctival infestation by B. malayi was also documented. Human dirofilariosis is a public health problem in the state of Kerala in India, and it is mostly caused by Candidatus Dirofilaria Hongkongensis. We propose that all diroifilaria isolates are subjected to sequencing for identification.
Address correspondence to Anil Kumar, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India 682041. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial support: This research received no specific grant from any funding source.