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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 6436130, 10 pages
Review Article

The Complexity of Zoonotic Filariasis Episystem and Its Consequences: A Multidisciplinary View

1Laboratory of Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
2Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Salamanca (IRNASA-CSIC), Salamanca, Spain
3Department of Infectious Diseases, Rostov State Medical University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to Javier González-Miguel; se.lasu@zelgj

Received 28 March 2017; Accepted 9 May 2017; Published 31 May 2017

Academic Editor: Stephen Munga

Copyright © 2017 Fernando Simón et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vector-borne transmitted helminthic zoonosis affects the health and economy of both developing and developed countries. The concept of episystem includes the set of biological, environmental, and epidemiological elements of these diseases in defined geographic and temporal scales. Dirofilariasis caused by different species of the genus Dirofilaria is a disease affecting domestic and wild canines and felines and man, transmitted by different species of culicid mosquitoes. This complexity is increased because Dirofilaria species harbor intracellular symbiont Wolbachia bacteriae, which play a key role in the embryogenesis and development of dirofilariae and in the inflammatory pathology of the disease. In addition, the vector transmission makes the dirofilariasis susceptible to the influence of the climate and its variations. The present review addresses the analysis of dirofilariasis from the point of view of the episystem, analyzing the complex network of interactions established between biological components, climate, and factors related to human activity, as well as the different problems they pose. The progress of knowledge on human and animal dirofilariasis is largely due to the multidisciplinary approach. Nevertheless, different aspects of the disease need to continue being investigated and cooperation between countries and specialists involved should be intensified.