Transmission of dirofilariasis in Europe is dependent upon the presence of sufficient numbers of infected dogs, susceptible mosquitoes, and a suitable climate to permit extrinsic incubation of Dirofilaria in the mosquito intermediate host. Dogs returning to the United Kingdom from overseas have been infected with several vector-borne infections (Babesia, Ehrlichia, Leishmania, and Dirofilaria), and this paper assesses the climatic constraints on the potential rate of extrinsic incubation of Dirofilaria in the United Kingdom. A model using an established algorithm based on accumulated temperature predicts that summer temperatures during 1995-2000 may have been sufficient to permit complete incubation of Dirofilaria in 2 of the years for large parts of southern/central England, and 5 years around London. The occurrence of autochthonous transmission would be dependent upon additional factors related to frequency of returning infected dogs and the distribution and abundance of putative mosquito vectors, and these should be studied further.
- United Kingdom
- Vector borne