Molecular data on vectors and reservoir hosts of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in central Iran


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2008
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Abstract

Due to the increasing number of positive cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis with occurrence of new foci, a study was carried out to investigate onvectors and reservoirs of the disease in the Shahrood district, central Iran during 2005-2006. Sandflies and rodents were collected using sticky papers and Sherman live traps respectively More than 1700 sandflies were collected and identified, mainly Phlebotomus papatasi species. RAPD-PCR analysis of sandflies showed that 10% of P. papatasi and 4.2% of P. caucasicus were naturally infected with Leishmania major. Two species of rodents, potential reservoirs, Rhombomys opimus (92.5%) and Nesokia indica (7.5%) were trapped in the district. Microscopy identification from rodents confirmed that 91.9% of the Rhombomys opimus were positive to amastigotes. Species identification of isolated parasites revealed Leishmania major DNA in the infected Rhombomys using RAPD-PCR technique. This epidemiological data highlight the importance of the disease in the region and could help people involved in control programs.

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