Elementary composition and Electron Microscopical Studies of Dirofilaria immitis
Objective : The main objective of this study is to evaluate any significant differences of biochemical composition between male and female worms and to know any symbiotic relationship between Dirofilaria immitis and Wolbachia.
Methods : 10 samples, each of freshly collected male and female dog heartworms were thoroughly washed in physiological saline solution and their wet measures were taken (female 0.83 gm and male 0.34 gm). The elementary composition was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The molecular evidence for endosymbiont Wolbachia was based on amplification of the targeted DNA as well as on Electron Transmission Microscope (TEM) study.
Results : Significant differences of Cu, Zn, Ca and P were found between male and female. polymerase chain reaction (PCR) selectively amplified 505 bp indicating the presence of Wolbachia in D. immitis. TEM showed presence of numerous Wolbachia organisms as clusters in the hypodermal cells of the lateral chord of adult heartworm. The differences in elementary composition between male and female heartworm indicated the variability of sources of heartworm and the nutritional status of their hosts.
Conclusion : The selective amplification of 505 bp and the presence Wolbachia pipientis in the cells of D. immitis detected by TEM opens a new area of research highlighting specific antibiotic treatment to reduce filarial induced pathology.
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