European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD)

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European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD)

Published 25/9/2020

The ABCD is a joint initiative of veterinary clinicians, scientists and an industry sponsor set up to communicate scientific developments in feline infectious diseases. They have published guidelines and factsheets (2-page abstracts of the main points contained in the guidelines) on a wide range of infectious diseases affecting cats, divided into viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan and helminthic disease, alongside more general guidelines on infection control.

The guidelines are available from both the ABCD website as well as in special issues of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

Dirofilarioses in cats

Published 25/9/2020

ABCD (2020) Dirofilarioses in cats [online] Available at: [accessed 3/9/2020]

This guideline includes sections on: agents and lifecycle, epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical signs, heartworm disease, subcutaneous Dirofilariosis, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up, prevention and One Health.

The guideline makes some comparisons to the condition in dogs, noting that compared to dogs, cats are imperfect hosts to Dirofilaria worms and that after inoculation, only a low number of L3 larvae develop to the adult stage in a small percentage of cats, which can make diagnosis more difficult in cats. The authors also note that the adulticide treatments used in dogs are considered unsafe in cats.

Further reading

For an up to date overview of the evidence on Dirofilariosis in dogs the following resources are available

Anvari, D. et al. (2020) The global status of Dirofilaria immitis in dogs: a systematic review and meta-analysis based on published articles. Research in Veterinary Science, 31, pp. 104-116

DiGangi, B. and Nielsen, M. (eds) (2020) Understanding heartworm disease: From science to solutions. Selected papers presented at the 16th Triennial Heartworm Symposium 2019. New Orleans, 8-11 September [online] Available at: [accessed 3/9/2020]

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