Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Tag: Andrew Moorhead

Treatment of dogs with Bravecto® (fluralaner) reduces mosquito survival and fecundity

Background: Mosquitoes serve as the vector of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis), which represents a significant and persistent threat to canine health. A reduction in the longevity and/or reproductive success of mosquitoes that take a blood meal from fluralaner-treated dogs may consequently reduce the local transmission of heartworm and prevent new infections. A novel secondary effect of an oral formulation of the ectoparasiticide fluralaner (Bravecto®) against a laboratory strain of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, a potential major vector of canine heartworm, was investigated in this study.

Methods: Six dogs were administered a single dose of fluralaner orally in the form of Bravecto® Chews (at the labeled fluralaner dose of 25 mg/kg body weight), while six control dogs received no treatment. Mosquitoes were fed on blood that was collected from each dog prior to treatment and weekly for 15 weeks post-treatment to assess the continued effects of fluralaner as its serum level decreased. Mosquito fitness was assessed by three parameters: rate of successful blood-feeding, survival, and egg laying.

Results: Successful blood-feeding rate was similar between control and treatment groups. In the fluralaner treatment, mosquito survival was significantly reduced within the first 24 h after blood-feeding, for the first 12 weeks post-treatment of the dogs (efficacy range = 33.2-73.3%). Survival of mosquitoes up until a potentially heartworm-infective timepoint (14 days post-blood-feeding) was significantly reduced in the fluralaner-treated group at several timepoints (1, 2, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 weeks post-treatment; efficacy range = 49.4-91.4%), but was less consistently reduced at the other timepoints. Egg laying by mosquitoes was almost completely suppressed for the first 13 weeks following treatment of the dogs with fluralaner (treatment efficacy ≥ 99.8%).

Conclusions: Mosquitoes fed blood from fluralaner-treated dogs experienced a significant reduction in survival and fecundity. These findings support the potential for a reduction in heartworm transmission directly by lethal effects on the vector and indirectly through a reduction of the local vector population when mosquitoes are exposed to animals treated with fluralaner.

Christopher Charles Evans, Dorothy Normile, Sheryl Gamble, Frank Guerino, Michael T Dzimianski, Andrew Riddell Moorhead. Parasit Vectors. 2023 Apr 28;16(1):147. doi: 10.1186/s13071-023-05682-8.

The Domestic Dog as a Laboratory Host for Brugia malayi

Of the three nematodes responsible for lymphatic filariasis in humans, only Brugia malayi is actively maintained in research settings owing to its viability in small animal hosts, principal among which is the domestic cat. While the microfilaremic feline host is necessary for propagation of parasites on any significant scale, this system is plagued by a number of challenges not as pronounced in canine filarial models. For this reason, we investigated the capacity in which dogs may serve as competent laboratory hosts for B. malayi. We infected a total of 20 dogs by subcutaneous injection of 500 B. malayi third-stage larvae (L3) in either a single (n = 10) or repeated infection events (125 L3 per week for four weeks; n = 10). Within each group, half of the individuals were injected in the inguinal region and half in the dorsum of the hind paw. To track the course of microfilaremia in this host, blood samples were examined by microscopy biweekly for two years following infection. Additionally, to identify cellular responses with potential value as predictors of patency, we measured peripheral blood leukocyte counts for the first year of infection. A total of 10 of 20 dogs developed detectable microfilaremia. Peak microfilaria density varied but attained levels useful for parasite propagation (median = 1933 mL-1; range: 33-9950 mL-1). Nine of these dogs remained patent at 104 weeks. A two-way ANOVA revealed no significant differences between infection groups in lifetime microfilaria production (p = 0.42), nor did regression analysis reveal any likely predictive relationships to leukocyte values. The results of this study demonstrate the competence of the dog as a host for B. malayi and its potential to serve in the laboratory role currently provided by the cat, while also clarifying the potential for zoonosis in filariasis-endemic regions.

Christopher C Evans, Katelin E Greenway, Elyssa J Campbell, Michael T Dzimianski, Abdelmoneim Mansour, John W McCall, Andrew R Moorhead. Pathogens. 2022 Sep 21;11(10):1073. doi: 10.3390/pathogens11101073.

Back to Top