Sally Osman Widaa 1 , 2 , Khalid Awadelkarim Ahmed 1 , Amel Ahmed Elsheikh Bari 1 , Mayada Mohmmedelhassan Ali 1 , Mihad Abdelaal Ibrahim 1 , Mohammed Ahmed Bashir 1 , Ahmed Hamid Awadelkarim Mastour 3 , Zakkiah Algali Yagi 4 , Mo'awia Mukhtar Hassan 1
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has been known to occur since the 1980s on the western bank of the White Nile River (Central Sudan), 150 km south of Khartoum, and has resulted in high mortality. The most recent outbreak of the disease in this area began in 2006. Entomological surveys were carried out during May 2008, June 2010 and May and July 2011 in the White Nile area. Sandflies were collected using Centers for Disease Control light traps and sticky oil traps in the village of Kadaba and the nearby woodland. Phlebotomus females were dissected for the presence of Leishmania promastigotes. A total of 17,387 sandflies, including six species of Phlebotomus and 10 species of Sergentomyia, were identified. The Phlebotomus species recorded were Phlebotomus orientalis, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus bergeroti, Phlebotomus duboscqi, Phlebotomus rodhaini and Phlebotomus saevus. P. orientalis was collected in both habitats. The relative abundance of P. orientalis in the woodland habitat was higher than that recorded in the village habitat. In the woodland habitat, there was a notable increase in the relative abundance of P. orientalis during the surveys conducted in 2008 and 2010 compared to 2011. None of the 311 P. orientalis females dissected were infected with Leishmania promastigotes, although relatively high parous rates were recorded in both habitats. Based on the distribution of P. orientalis recorded in this study, this species is the most likely vector of VL in the endemic focus in the White Nile area. Further investigation is required to elucidate the seasonal abundance and distribution of the vector, as well as the transmission season of VL in both habitats so that appropriate control strategies for the vector can be designed.