Acanthocheilonema reconditum - Microscopic exam; Molecular diagnosis (PCR)


Acanthocheilonema reconditum is a blood parasite of dogs is located in the Indian subcontinent, southern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, where it is considered a zoonosis. Among the helminths it is included in the Onchocercidae family.


The life cycle of the parasite involves an intermediate host, usually ticks, fleas and lice, which during feeding infective larvae L3 transmitted to dogs. Adults of this pathogenic species reside in the subcutaneous tissue or body cavities, where they form nodules and release infective microfilariae L1 which are subsequently ingested by the intermediate host when feeding on the dog.


Most dogs infected asymptomatic, but adult worm burdens can manifest as subcutaneous canine heartworm, characterized by the formation of subcutaneous nodules. Although the canine population is the most affected by heartworm disease also they can be infected other pets like cats and ferrets.


Recommended tests for diagnosis:


The diagnosis is based on the identification of circulating microfilariae in peripheral blood samples or through the identification of larval stages in biopsies of nodules.


Tests in IVAMI:


  • Microscopic examination for observing microfilariae.
  • Molecular diagnosis (PCR), to detect DNA Acanthocheiloma reconditum.

Recommended sample:


  • Whole blood collected with EDTA (2 to 5 mL).

Preservation and shipment of sample:


  • Refrigerated (preferred) for less than 2 days.
  • Frozen: more than 2 days (for PCR).

Delivery term:


  • Microscopic examination: 24 hours.
  • Molecular diagnosis (PCR): 24 to 48 hours.