The performance of a rapid immunochromatographic test for the detection of Dirofilaria immitis antigens (Speed Diro™; BVT-Virbac, France) was assessed in 49 experimentally infected dogs and in 244 naturally infected animals; 142 dogs and 102 cats. In experimentally infected dogs, Speed Diro™ showed a sensitivity of 90.9% in dogs infected with one adult female worm and 100% in dogs infected with more than one female worm. Specificity was 100%. For naturally infected dogs, the Knott test and PetChek® HTWM PF served as reference methods for microfilaremia and antigenemia, respectively. All microfilaemic dogs (55/142) were positive with Speed Diro™. Importantly, none of the 21 dogs infected with D. repens were positive. The results of Speed Diro™ for the detection of antigenemia were compared with two in-house tests, SNAP® HTWM and Witness® Dirofilaria, and all three tests were 100% specific and sensitive in comparison to PetChek® HTWM PF. For the evaluation of feline samples, 102 cats were examined by echocardiography. Sera from 87 heartworm-infected cats were tested by Speed Diro™ and SNAP® HTWM. The results of Speed Diro™ were equivalent to SNAP® HTWM, with a sensitivity of 98.9% and a specificity of 100%. © 2017, The Author(s).
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