Vectors Of Transmission

While the major vector of transmission attributed to the spread of Dirofilariasis in all the journal and web literature is the Mosquito there are still many more that the medical books and online resources do not even mention. It is important to realize that any arthropod that can carry this disease should be properly attributed to the spread of the disease, because otherwise the threat that this disease poses to the human population can not be well understood. Research is required to properly assess each and ever vector with its potential for disease transmission, so below we list all currently known vectors that are able to spread the disease and we hope that in the future the other medical resources will give proper respect and attribution to human transmission of this disease.

The Actual Vectors Of Transmission

The below arthropods are all the vectors of transmission for Dirofilariasis we know to date. Note that mosquitoes are the only vector normally attributed in all documented resources (books, articles, Journal archives), but this single insect is an absolutely incomplete list. A single mosquito can transmit up to 21 filaria in a single bite while a Tabanidae has been documented to transmit more than 200 filaria in a single bite. Which is more dangerous? There are likely even more insect vectors than we even listed below, so we are continuing our research to try and uncover the most complete list possible.
Scott BauerCeratopogonidae or commonly known as the biting-midge or noseeums. [1][2]

Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Culicidae The mosquito is the well known vector of many diseases, including Dirofilaria. (Aedes, Culex, Anopheles, Ochlerotatus, Cx quinciafasiatus, Ae. polynesiensis, Oc. taeniorhynchus, Cx. pipiens, Ae. ochcaspius, Ae. vexans, Cx. theileri, Ae. albopictus)

AjC1 – CC
Simuliidae The BlackFly [3][4][5][6][7] also known as the buffalo gnat is known to have 2,200 species. While an individual fly can only carry about three L3 stage filaria but they are quite prolific in numbers. These are also well known to carry a very similar filarial disease in Africa called river-blindness.

File source
Stomoxys calcitrans Also known as the Stable Fly can carry a fairly large number of filaria, but that exact number per bite is currently unknown. We need more research.
Courtesy of Bruce Marlin CCTabanidae Commonly known as the Horse Fly [11][13][14][15][16][17] can carry more than 200 [12] L3 stage filaria in a single bite. Many people who get bitten by these can develop a large festering open wound that resists healing for many days or even weeks. It is very likely that a person bitten by an Dirofilaria infected Tabanidae will develop a rather severe case of Dirofilariasis simply due to the number of L3 filaria and the amount of secretomes being generated by them. Its an order of magnitude more filaria than even the largest mosquito can deliver and should be taken much more seriously by the scientific community.

Author: Fernando da Rosa
Pulex serraticeps[18] now called Ctenocephalides canis[19] was known to carry Dirofilaria as far back as 1888 but still is not largely recognized as being a carrier of the disease.

Autor: Kalumet, selbst erstellt
Haematopinus piliferus[18], now called Linognathus setosus or the common dog louse was known to carry Dirofilaria as far back as 1888 but is still not yet recognized as a carrier of the disease

[1] Napoli, E., Panarese, R., La Russa, F., Cambera, I., Mendoza-Roldan, J., Otranto, D., & Brianti, E. (2022). Detection of Dirofilaria DNA and host blood-meal identification in Culicoides paolae biting midges. Parasitology, 149(7), 968-972. doi:10.1017/S0031182022000440

[2] Grandi, G., Živičnjak, T., & Beck, R. (2007). Pathogenesis of Dirofilaria spp. infections. In C. Genchi, L. Rinaldi, & G. Cringoli (Eds.), Dirofilaria immitis and D. repens in dog and cat and human infections (Issue February). p183

[3] Castillo, J. C., Reynolds, S. E., & Eleftherianos, I. (2011). Insect immune responses to nematode parasites. Trends in Parasitology, 27(12), 537–547.

[4] Marine. (n.d.). The Black Fly (Diptera: Simuliidae) Genome and EST Project Black Fly Genome Consortium Organizing Laboratories.


[6] Youssefi, M., Aminpour, A., & Arabkhazaeli, F. (2012). Dermatitis caused by the bite of Blackfly in a 32 –year old man. The Internet Journal of Parasitic Diseases, 3(2), 1–5.

[7] Ajayi, O. S. (2009). DERMATITIS CAUSED BY SIMULIUM (BLACKFLIES) BITE. 7(3), 151–158.

[8] Hadi, A., & Al-Amery, A. (2012). Isolation and identification of some blood parasites from midgut of stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans). J Vet Med Sci, 11(1), 28–33.

[9] Baleba, S. B. S. (2021). Water immersion tolerance by larval instars of stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, L1758 (Diptera: Muscidae) impairs the fitness performance of their subsequent stages. BMC Ecology and Evolution, 21(1), 1–10.

[10] Baldacchino, F., Muenworn, V., Desquesnes, M., Desoli, F., Charoenviriyaphap, T., & Duvallet, G. (2013). Transmission of pathogens by Stomoxys flies (Diptera, Muscidae): A review. Parasite, 20(1).

[11] B.D. Lessard, D. K. Y. (2010). New species of the Australian horse fly subgenus. CSIRO Entomology, Mullens, 1–18.

[12] Van Hennekeler, K., Jones, R. E., Skerratt, L. F., Fitzpatrick, L. A., Reid, S. A., & Bellis, G. A. (2008). A comparison of trapping methods for Tabanidae (Diptera) in North Queensland, Australia. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 22(1), 26–31.

[13] Baldacchino, F., Desquesnes, M., Mihok, S., Foil, L. D., Duvallet, G., & Jittapalapong, S. (2014). Tabanids: Neglected subjects of research, but important vectors of disease agents! Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 28, 596–615.

[14] Foil, L. D. (1989). Tabanids as vectors of disease agents. Parasitology Today, 5(3), 88–96.

[15] Keita, M. L., Medkour, H., Sambou, M., & Dahmana, H. (2020). Tabanids as possible pathogen vectors in Senegal ( West Africa ). Parasites & Vectors, 1–15.

[16] Acıöz, M. (2018). Tabanid Infestation of Cattle and Its Implications for Public Health. Middle Black Sea Journal of Health Science, 4(December), 43–46.

[17] Spratt, D. M. (1973). Distribution of third-stage Dirofilaria roemeri (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in the tissues of tabanidae (Diptera). International Journal for Parasitology, 4, 477–480.

[18] Stueben, E. B. (1954). Larval Development of Dirofilaria immitis (Leidy) in Fleas. In Source: The Journal of Parasitology (Vol. 40, Issue 5).

[19] Breinl, A. (Trop. M., & Brown, H. (The N. Amor. V. (1940). Fleas as Acceptable Intermediate Hosts of the Dog Heartworm. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 43(3), 448–450.