An evaluation of techniques to diagnose Dioctophyme renale in dogs


Indirect ELISA, ultrasound, urinalysis, dioctophimosis.

How to Cite

Capella, G. de A., Rappeti, J. C. da S., Pinheiro, N. B., Perera, S. C., de Moura, M. Q., Cleff, M. B., da Costa, C. M., Strothmann, A. L., Weege, G. B., Mascarenhas, C. S., & Berne, M. E. A. (2024). An evaluation of techniques to diagnose Dioctophyme renale in dogs. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 46, e006423.


Dioctophyme renale is a nematode with zoonotic potential that affects the kidneys of carnivorous, wild, and domestic mammals. In this study, we sought to evaluate the indirect ELISA method against routine methods used to diagnose dioctophimosis. Hence, 38 dogs parasitized by D. renale, as confirmed by surgery, were selected. The dogs were evaluated by abdominal ultrasound and urinalysis, and their sera were tested by indirect ELISA using D. renale adult secretion and excretion antigen (DES). Five dogs were followed up with serum collections on day 0 (day of surgery) and 30, 60, and 90 days after surgery to evaluate antibody kinetics. Abdominal ultrasound and indirect ELISA successfully diagnosed 37 dogs parasitized by D. renale, while urinalysis diagnosed 29 animals. The positive animals were parasitized with 1–7 parasites; 17 dogs were infected by male and female parasites, 15 only by female parasites, and six were parasitized only by male parasites. When assessing specificity and sensitivity, all techniques showed 100% specificity and 81.6%, 97.4%, and 97.4% sensitivity for urinalysis, ultrasound, and ELISA, respectively (p < 0.001). The five positive dogs that were followed up after surgery showed a progressive decrease in mean absorbances in indirect ELISA (0.644, 0.516, 0.511, and 0.440, respectively). This study demonstrated that the indirect ELISA using the DE antigen could diagnose dioctophimosis regardless of the number, sex, and location of the parasites, with the potential to be used in epidemiological research and implementing immunological and molecular studies, opening new lines of research on D. renale.


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Copyright (c) 2024 Gabriela de Almeida Capella, Josaine Cristina da Silva Rappeti, Natalia Berne Pinheiro, Soliane Carra Perera, Micaele Quintana de Moura, Marlete Brum Cleff, Caroline Maciel da Costa, Adriane Leites Strothmann, Guilherme Borges Weege, Carolina Silveira Mascarenhas, Maria Elisabeth Aires Berne