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      Using Ecological Niche Modeling to Predict the Spatial Distribution of Anopheles maculipennis s.l. and Culex theileri (Diptera: Culicidae) in Central Iran

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          Mosquitoes are very important vectors of diseases to human. We aimed to establish the first spatial database on the mosquitoes of Isfahan Province, central Iran, and to predict the geographical distribution of species with medical importance.


          Mosquito larvae were collected from eight counties of Isfahan Province during 2014. Collected data were transferred to a database in ArcGIS and the distribution maps were created. MaxEnt model and jackknife analysis were used to predict the geographical distribution of two medical important species, and to find the effective variables for each species.


          Totally, 1143 larvae were collected including 6 species, Anopheles maculipennis s.l., An. superpictus s.l., An. marteri, Culex hortensis, Cx. theileri and Culiseta longiareolata. The area under curve in MaxEnt model was 0.951 and 0.873 rather 1 for An. maculipennis s.l. and Cx. theileri, respectively. Culex theileri had wider and more appropriate niches across the province, except for the eastern area. The environmental variable with highest gain was mean temperature of the wettest quarter for Cx. theileri and temperature seasonality for An. maculipennis. Culex theileri, An. maculipennis s.l. and An. superpictus, three important vectors of parasitic agents to humans, were collected in this study.


          The mosquito collected and mapped can be considered for transmission of malaria and filariasis in the region. Bearing in mind the results of niche modeling for vector species, more studies on vectorial capacity and resistance status to different insecticides of these species are recommended.

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          The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Africa, Europe and the Middle East: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis

          Background This is the second in a series of three articles documenting the geographical distribution of 41 dominant vector species (DVS) of human malaria. The first paper addressed the DVS of the Americas and the third will consider those of the Asian Pacific Region. Here, the DVS of Africa, Europe and the Middle East are discussed. The continent of Africa experiences the bulk of the global malaria burden due in part to the presence of the An. gambiae complex. Anopheles gambiae is one of four DVS within the An. gambiae complex, the others being An. arabiensis and the coastal An. merus and An. melas. There are a further three, highly anthropophilic DVS in Africa, An. funestus, An. moucheti and An. nili. Conversely, across Europe and the Middle East, malaria transmission is low and frequently absent, despite the presence of six DVS. To help control malaria in Africa and the Middle East, or to identify the risk of its re-emergence in Europe, the contemporary distribution and bionomics of the relevant DVS are needed. Results A contemporary database of occurrence data, compiled from the formal literature and other relevant resources, resulted in the collation of information for seven DVS from 44 countries in Africa containing 4234 geo-referenced, independent sites. In Europe and the Middle East, six DVS were identified from 2784 geo-referenced sites across 49 countries. These occurrence data were combined with expert opinion ranges and a suite of environmental and climatic variables of relevance to anopheline ecology to produce predictive distribution maps using the Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) method. Conclusions The predicted geographic extent for the following DVS (or species/suspected species complex*) is provided for Africa: Anopheles (Cellia) arabiensis, An. (Cel.) funestus*, An. (Cel.) gambiae, An. (Cel.) melas, An. (Cel.) merus, An. (Cel.) moucheti and An. (Cel.) nili*, and in the European and Middle Eastern Region: An. (Anopheles) atroparvus, An. (Ano.) labranchiae, An. (Ano.) messeae, An. (Ano.) sacharovi, An. (Cel.) sergentii and An. (Cel.) superpictus*. These maps are presented alongside a bionomics summary for each species relevant to its control.
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            Diptera vectors of avian Haemosporidian parasites: untangling parasite life cycles and their taxonomy.

            Haemosporida is a large group of vector-borne intracellular parasites that infect amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. This group includes the different malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) that infect humans around the world. Our knowledge on the full life cycle of these parasites is most complete for those parasites that infect humans and, to some extent, birds. However, our current knowledge on haemosporidian life cycles is characterized by a paucity of information concerning the vector species responsible for their transmission among vertebrates. Moreover, our taxonomic and systematic knowledge of haemosporidians is far from complete, in particular because of insufficient sampling in wild vertebrates and in tropical regions. Detailed experimental studies to identify avian haemosporidian vectors are uncommon, with only a few published during the last 25 years. As such, little knowledge has accumulated on haemosporidian life cycles during the last three decades, hindering progress in ecology, evolution, and systematic studies of these avian parasites. Nonetheless, recently developed molecular tools have facilitated advances in haemosporidian research. DNA can now be extracted from vectors' blood meals and the vertebrate host identified; if the blood meal is infected by haemosporidians, the parasite's genetic lineage can also be identified. While this molecular tool should help to identify putative vector species, detailed experimental studies on vector competence are still needed. Furthermore, molecular tools have helped to refine our knowledge on Haemosporida taxonomy and systematics. Herein we review studies conducted on Diptera vectors transmitting avian haemosporidians from the late 1800s to the present. We also review work on Haemosporida taxonomy and systematics since the first application of molecular techniques and provide recommendations and suggest future research directions. Because human encroachment on natural environments brings human populations into contact with novel parasite sources, we stress that the best way to avoid emergent and reemergent diseases is through a program encompassing ecological restoration, environmental education, and enhanced understanding of the value of ecosystem services. © 2012 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2012 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
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              Rift Valley fever in humans in South Africa.

              During an epizootic of Rift Valley fever in South Africa in 1974/1975, mainly affecting sheep and cattle, a large number of human cases occurred. The majority of the patients, mostly farmers, farm labourers and veterinary surgeons, acquired the infection while handling the carcasses of animals which had died of Rift Valley fever. Some gave no history of contact with infected animals and it is presumed that they were infected by mosquitoes. Complications were common. Retinitis clinically associated with defective vision occurred in about 20% of patients investigated. In others, meningo-encephalitis developed; 1 patient died and the brain showed perivascular cuffing and round-cell infiltration. In 110 cases the diagnosis was confirmed in the laboratory, in 17 by isolation of the virus and in 93 by the finding of an antibody response in serological tests. In 3 fatal cases the virus was isolated from the liver, and in a further 4 fatal cases in which virus isolation was not attempted, there was clinical and epidemiological evidence of the diagnosis; in each case a haemorrhagic state associated with hepatitis had developed. In 1978, follow-up studies showed that immune rates among residents on affected farms varied from 10% in children to 17,1% in adult males, with an overall immunity rate of 14,5%.

                Author and article information

                J Arthropod Borne Dis
                J Arthropod Borne Dis
                Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases
                Tehran University of Medical Sciences
                June 2019
                24 June 2019
                : 13
                : 2
                : 165-176
                [1 ]Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]Department of Environmental Chemical Pollutants and Pesticides, Institute for Environmental Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [3 ]Department of Communicable Diseases Control, Deputy for Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding authors: Dr Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd, Email: aahanafibojd@ 123456tums.ac.ir , Mr Mohammad Reza Abai, Email: abaimr@ 123456tums.ac.ir
                Copyright© Iranian Society of Medical Entomology & Tehran University of Medical Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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