Monday, February 13, 2017

GIS Modeling for Canine Dirofilariosis Risk Assessment in Central Italy

A survey was conducted in central Italy to study the prevalence of Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens in dogs. Blood samples were taken from 283 dogs to be analyzed. The results were evaluated to consider the behavioral risk factors. GIS was used in the study utilizing data layers for administrative boundaries, elevation, temperature, rainfall, and humidity to aid in the investigation.

Dirofilarioso are important parasitic diseases of dogs and other carnivores and, in Italy, they are due to Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens, both zoonotic infections. The survey was conducted between March and July 2003 targeting dogs residing in the provinces of Perugia and Arezzo. The researchers contacted nine veterinary practices and privately-owned dogs were also enrolled in the survey. Blood samples were taken from the dogs for the detection and species identification of circulating microfilariac.

Epidemiological studies conducted in recent shows that there is an increasing force of canine dirofilariosis spreading throughout the previously uninfected European areas. This presence was again confirmed in this study. The prevalence of D. immitis infection was higher than previous studies.

Mortarino, M., Musella, V., Costa, V., Genchi, C., Cringoli, G., & Rinaldi, L. (2008). GIS modeling for canine dirofilariosis risk assessment in central Italy. Geospatial health2(2), 253-261.


  1. I wonder if GIS information can be used to find out WHY this is spreading so rapidly in Europe

  2. Very interesting, I am curious to see the prevalence of other diseases in dogs in a more local map.