Dirofilaria immitis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) from southeastern Louisiana, United States.
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A single, male Dirofilaria immitis was found in the right ventricle of a captive, 10-month-old female Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) from East Feliciana parish in Louisiana, USA. Molecular analysis was performed for unequivocal species level identification using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) region of the mitochondrial DNA and comparing to known D. immitis cox1 sequences available on GenBank to which the specimen had a 99.54-100% pair wise identity. As there is no safe adulticidal treatment for D. immitis in mustelids, chemoprophylaxis using macrocyclic lactones is recommended to prevent infection. Further studies are needed to better characterize D. immitis infection and its propensity to cause disease in the Asian small-clawed otter.