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Volume 20, Number 2—February 2014
Etymologia

Etymologia: Dirofilaria

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Dirofilaria [diʺro-fĭ-larʹe-ə]

From the Latin dīrus (“fearful” or “ominous”) + fīlum (“thread”), Dirofilaria is a genus of nematodes of the superfamily Filarioidea. The first known description of Dirofilaria may have been by Italian nobleman Francesco Birago in 1626 in his Treatise on Hunting: “The dog generates two worms, which are half an arm’s length long and thicker than a finger and red like fire.” Birago erroneously identified the worms as a larval stage of another parasite, Dioctophyme renale. The dog heartworm was named Filaria by American parasitologist Joseph Leidy in 1856, and the genus was renamed Dirofilaria by French parasitologists Railliet and Henry in 1911.

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References

  1. American Heartworm Society. An early and interesting history of heartworm in dogs. 2009 Jun [cited 25 Oct 2012]. http://www.heartwormsociety.org/enewsletter/june2009/enewsletter_p=4.html.
  2. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
  3. Simon Martin  F, Genchi  C. Dirofilariasis and other zoonotic filariases: an emerging public health problem in developed countries. Research and Reviews in Parasitology. 2000;60:116.
  4. Simón  F, Siles-Lucas  M, Morchón  R, González-Miguel  J, Mellado  I, Carretón  E, Human and animal dilofilariasis: the emergence of a zoonotic mosaic. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2012;25:50744 . DOIPubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2002.et2002

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Table of Contents – Volume 20, Number 2—February 2014

Page created: January 08, 2014
Page updated: January 08, 2014
Page reviewed: January 08, 2014
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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