Skip to Content
Medical Term:

Dirofilaria immitis


a species of filarial worms; primary hosts are dogs and other canids in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates, adult worms are found chiefly in the right ventricle and pulmonary arteries of dogs; sometimes a serious pathogen of racing and show dogs, especially in the southern U.S. where mosquito vectors are most common; Dirofilaria immitis and its canine host have been used to test chemotherapeutic agents, and an extract of Dirofilaria immitis may be used as a nonspecific intradermal antigen in the diagnosis of human filariasis and in complement-fixation tests.

Synonym(s): heartworm

See Also: Dipetalonema reconditum

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.