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      A possible role for Phlebotomus ( Anaphlebotomus) rodhaini (Parrot, 1930) in transmission of Leishmania donovani

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          Abstract

          Background

          Visceral leishmaniasis (VL, kala azar), caused by Leishmania donovani is a major health problem in Sudan and other East African countries. In this region the only proven vectors of L. donovani are Phlebotomus orientalis in eastern Sudan, Ethiopia and Upper Nile areas of Southern Sudan and Phlebotomus martini in Ethiopia, Kenya and Southern Sudan. In this report, we present the first evidence that Phlebotomus rodhaini may also play a role in maintaining transmission of L. donovani between animal reservoir hosts in eastern Sudan. The study was conducted in a zoonotic focus of visceral leishmaniasis in Dinder National Park, eastern Sudan, where previous work showed high infection rates of L. donovani in P. orientalis. Sand flies, captured by CDC traps were dissected and examined for infection with Leishmania parasites. Parasite isolates were subjected to L. donovani specific PCR. Field experiments were also carried out to compare efficiency of rodent baited and un-baited CDC traps in collection of P. rodhaini and determine its man-biting rate.

          Results

          Three female P. rodhaini were found infected with Leishmania parasites in an astonishingly small number of flies captured in three separate field trips. Two of these isolates were typed by molecular methods as L. donovani, while the third isolate was inoculated into a hamster that was subsequently lost. Although P. rodhaini is generally considered a rare species, results obtained in this study indicate that it can readily be captured by rodent-baited traps. Results of human landing collection showed that it rarely bites humans in the area.

          Conclusion

          It is concluded that P. rodhaini is a possible vector of L. donovani between animal reservoir hosts but is not responsible for infecting humans. It is suggested that the role of P. rodhaini in transmission of L. donovani in other zoonotic foci of visceral leishmaniasis in Africa should be re-examined.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Visceral leishmaniasis: what are the needs for diagnosis, treatment and control?

          Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a systemic protozoan disease that is transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies. Poor and neglected populations in East Africa and the Indian sub-continent are particularly affected. Early and accurate diagnosis and treatment remain key components of VL control. In addition to improved diagnostic tests, accurate and simple tests are needed to identify treatment failures. Miltefosine, paromomycin and liposomal amphotericin B are gradually replacing pentavalent antimonials and conventional amphotericin B as the preferred treatments in some regions, but in other areas these drugs are still being evaluated in both mono- and combination therapies. New diagnostic tools and new treatment strategies will only have an impact if they are made widely available to patients.
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            Phlebotomine vectors of the leishmaniases: a review.

             R Killick (1989)
            An account is given of work published during the past 10 years incriminating species of phlebotomine sandflies as vectors of Leishmania species which infect man. An assessment is made of the degrees of certainty of the vectorial roles of eighty-one species and subspecies of sandflies (thirty-seven Old World and forty-four New World) in the transmission of twenty-nine leishmanial parasites of mammals. At least one species of sandfly is considered to be a proven vector of each of ten parasites. Of the eighty-one sandfly taxa, evidence is judged to be sufficient to incriminate nineteen as proven vectors (eleven Phlebotomus species and eight Lutzomyia species or subspecies) and evidence for a further fourteen (nine Phlebotomus species and five Lutzomyia species or subspecies) is considered to be strong. The suggested criteria for incrimination of a vector are anthropophily and common infection with the same leishmanial parasite as that found in man in the same place. More weight should be given to natural infections persisting after the digestion of a bloodmeal than those in the presence of blood. Supporting evidence is a concordance in the distribution of the fly and the disease in man, proof that the fly feeds regularly on the reservoir host, a flourishing development of the parasite in infected flies and the experimental transmission of the parasite by the bite of the fly.
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              The biology and control of phlebotomine sand flies.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central
                1756-3305
                2011
                21 December 2011
                : 4
                : 238
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 1 Backbone Rd, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA
                [2 ]Department of Zoology, University of Khartoum, Khartoum P O Box 321, Sudan
                [3 ]College of Public Health, University of South Florida USA
                [4 ]School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
                [5 ]Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, UK
                Article
                1756-3305-4-238
                10.1186/1756-3305-4-238
                3292490
                22188864
                Copyright ©2011 Elnaiem et al. ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research

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