Published Date: August 29, 2023

Full Text Article

"Slow kill" treatment reduces DNA damage in leukocytes of dogs naturally infected with Dirofilaria immitis

Authors: Milan Rajković, Uroš Glavinić, Danica Bogunović, Branislav Vejnović, Darko Davitkov, Ninoslav Đelić, Zoran Stanimirović

Vet Parasitol. 2023 Oct;322:110008. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2023.110008. Epub 2023 Aug 25.


Parasitic diseases are considered to be a cause of oxidative stress which leads to oxidative damage of various molecules including DNA. This can result in mutations, replication errors, and genome instability. Therefore, aim of this study was to measure DNA damage induced by Dirofilaria immitis in the single cells such as dogs' leukocytes using the comet assay. Also, we monitored the effects of antiparasitic treatment on mitigation of sensitivity to DNA damage in leukocytes treated with H2O2 using the in vivo and ex vivo comet assay. The whole blood samples from 34 dogs from Serbia were used, both males and females, from one to 13 years old, both pure and mixed-breeds. A rapid immunochromatographic test (Antigen Rapid Heartworm Ag 2.0 Test Kit, Bionote, Minnesota, USA) was used for the detection of D. immitis antigens. The modified Knott's test and PCR were used in the aim of detecting D. immitis microfilariae in dogs' blood, and evaluating the number of circulating microfilariae during the treatment. The genotoxicity evaluation showed that D. immitis infection resulted in DNA damage in naturally infected dogs, with the highest DNA damage occurring in the group of dogs with severe clinical signs. Treatment with ivermectin and doxycycline decreased DNA damage in leukocytes of dogs in all groups, as the intensity of infection decreased due to applied therapy. Ex vivo comet assay results showed that leukocytes exhibited decreased sensitivity to H2O2-induced DNA damage during treatment. The results of the modified Knott's test and PCR in our study showed that treatment with ivermectin and doxycycline was successful in decreasing the average number of microfilariae during the time and at the end eliminating them from the dogs' blood.

PMID: 37643566DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2023.110008