Filarial nematodes taking a fancy to Austria
In Austria, the parasitic roundworms Dirofilaria repens and Dirofilaria immitis are usually considered to be unpleasant souvenirs from travels abroad. A preliminary study has identified indigenous mosquitoes as carriers of Dirofilaria repens, suggesting for the first time that the parasite has become endemic in Eastern Austria. Dirofilaria immitis, commonly known as heartworm, also appears to be on the verge of becoming autochthonous. The slow pace at which the parasites are establishing themselves is probably due in part to the keeping conditions of dogs in Austria.