Candidatus Dirofilaria Hongkongensis Infections in Humans During 2005 to 2020, in Kerala, India

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekara, Kochi-682041, Kerala, India;
  • 2 Department of Ophthalmology, Little Flower Hospital and Research Centre, Angamaly, Kerala, India;
  • 3 Center for Nanoscience and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Amrita University, Cochin, Kerala 682041, India;
  • 4 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India;
  • 5 Department of Pathology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Amrita University, Ponekkara, Cochin, Kerala 682041, India

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.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Anil Kumar, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India 682041. E-mail: vanilkumar@aims.amrita.edu

Financial support: This research received no specific grant from any funding source.

Disclosure: No conflict of interest declared.

Authors’ addresses: Anil Kumar, Lalitha Biswas, Sarga Prabhat, Parasmal Suresh, Anisha Asokan, Vivek Vinod, Ajit Nambiar, and Raja Biswas, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Molecular Biology, Cochin, Kerala, India, E-mails: vanilkumar@aims.amrita.edu, biswaslalitha@gmail.com, microbiology@aims.amrita.edu, parasmals@aims.amrita.edu, anishaka@gmail.com, vivekvinod@aims.amrita.edu, ajitn@aims.amrita.edu, and rajabiswas@aims.amrita.edu. Ani Sreedhar and Rita Mary Tomy, Little Flower Hospital and Research Centre, Ophthalmology, Angamaly, Kerala, India, E-mails: anisreedhar2002@yahoo.com and ritamarytomy@gmail.com. Bindu Lakshmanan, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Mannuthy, Veterinary Parasitology, Mannuthy, Kerala, India, E-mail: bindul@kvasu.ac.in.

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