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Vet Parasitol. 2014 Nov 15;206(1-2):93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.08.011. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

Experimental Dirofilaria immitis infection in dogs: effects of doxycycline and Advantage Multi® administration on immature adult parasites.

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IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Westbrook, ME 04092, USA. Electronic address:
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Westbrook, ME 04092, USA.
University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA 30602, USA; TRS Labs, 215 Paradise Blvd., Athens, GA 30607, USA.
TRS Labs, 215 Paradise Blvd., Athens, GA 30607, USA.


To better understand the efficacy of doxycycline and 10% imidacloprid+2.5% moxidectin (Advantage Multi(®); Bayer Animal Health, Shawnee Mission, Kansas) on immature adult Dirofilaria immitis parasites and the results of antigen tests, 12 healthy, randomly selected dogs were experimentally infected with D. immitis and monitored for 407 days. Two dogs in each of three subgroups of four dogs were each infected with six (total of 6 dogs) or 12 (total of 6 dogs) D. immitis infective third-stage larvae (L3) obtained from infected mosquitoes. Doxycycline (10mg/kg per os twice daily×30 days) and 10% imidacloprid+2.5% moxidectin (1ml/kg by topical application every 30 days) treatment was initiated at 105 (Group A) and 149 (Group B) days post infection (PI) in two groups. One subgroup of two dogs given 6 L3 and one subgroup of two dogs given 12 L3 remained as untreated controls (GroupC). Serum obtained regularly throughout the study was evaluated by ELISA (PetChek(®) Heartworm-PF Antigen Test, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.) for D. immitis adult circulating antigens. Six of the eight dogs in the treated groups had detectable antigenemia starting between 148 and 240 days post infection, but antigen was not detected in any treated dog at the end of the study. In the control subgroups, the dogs that received 6 L3 had no detectable antigen while the two dogs that received 12 L3 had detectable antigen beginning on Day 180 that persisted until the end of the study. None of the infected dogs had evidence of circulating microfilariae. At necropsy, no heartworms were recovered from the treated dogs, but all dogs in the untreated group had viable adult heartworms. These results indicate that early immature adult worms (3.5 and 5 months of age) of D. immitis were susceptible to a combined treatment regimen of doxycycline and 10% imidacloprid+2.5% moxidectin.


Advantage Multi(®); Antigenemia; Dirofilaria immitis; Doxycycline; Heartworm; Moxidectin

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