Prevalence of dirofilaria immitis infection in stray cats by nested PCR in Korea

Hyung Jin Park, Sang Eun Lee, Won Ja Lee, Jung Hyun Oh, Easwaran Maheswaran, Kyoung Won Seo, Kun Ho Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey of Dirofilaria immitis infection among stray cats in Korea using nested PCR. We included 235 stray cats (121 females and 114 males) and evaluated each for the presence of feline heartworm infection. Blood samples were collected from 135 cats in Daejeon, 50 cats in Seoul, and 50 cats from Gyeong-gi-do (Province). Of the 235 DNA samples, 14 (6.0%) were positive for D. immitis. The prevalence of infection in male cats (8/114, 7.0%) tended to be higher than that in female cats (6/121, 5.0%), but the difference was not statistically significant. In each location, 8, 2, and 4 cats were positive for infection, respectively, based on DNA testing. No significant differences in the prevalence were observed among the geographic regions, although the rate of infection was higher in Gyeonggi-do (8.0%) than Daejeon (5.9%) and Seoul (4.0%). We submitted 7 of the 14 D. immitis DNA-positive samples for sequencing analysis. All samples corresponded to partial D. immitis cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene sequences with 99% ho-mology to the D. immitis sequence deposited in GenBank (accession no. FN391553). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first survey using nested PCR to analyze the prevalence of D. immitis in stray cats in Korea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-694
Number of pages4
JournalKorean Journal of Parasitology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Nested PCR
  • Prevalence
  • Stray cat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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