Surveys of Canine Filarioids In Nigeria: The Path Travelled and the Way Forward
Filarioid worms infecting dogs have recently received increased attention globally because of their zoonotic potential. In Africa and, particularly, in Nigeria, however, where there is preponderance of the risk factors for vector-borne diseases transmission, there are few reports of the disease in the canid and felid definitive hosts, the wild/domestic reservoirs and humans. Thus, the epidemiology of the disease in Nigeria remains sketchy and needs to be investigated. A retrospective analysis of reported canine filarioids in Nigeria was undertaken with the view to highlight what has been done and reported, existing gaps in knowledge, what needs to be done to bridge the gap and possibly how it could be done. Thirteen published works on canine filarioids using classical laboratory methods in Nigeria, reported the finding of Dirofilaria immitis (0.4–15.1%), Dirofilaria repens (0.1–9.4%), Acanthocheilonema reconditum (0.4–9.2%) and a case of A. dracunculoides in an unspecified dog population. In most instances, the species identification of the filarioids reported was not conclusive due to limitation of the diagnostic methods employed. No human infection due to any zoonotic canine filarioid has been reported in Nigeria. Suggestions for prospective filarioids research in Nigeria were made.
Keywords: Filarioids, dog, zoonosis, diagnosis, Nigeria