Phlebotomine sand flies are insects of major medico-veterinary significance in the Mediterranean region, as they may transmit pathogens to animals and humans, including viruses and protozoa. The present study was conducted in southern Italy, in an area where visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum is endemic. Insects were collected monthly during two consecutive years using light traps set in five different ecologic contexts (i.e., a stonewall near a woodhouse, a tree near volcanic rocks in a high-altitude area, a tree trunk in a meadow habitat, a sheep stable, and a chicken coop) and weekly in one site (the garage of a private house). A total of 13,087 specimens were collected and six species identified (i.e., Phlebotomus perfiliewi, Phlebotomus perniciosus, Phlebotomus neglectus, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus mascittii, and Sergentomyia minuta), representing 75% of the total number of phlebotomine species found in Italy. P. perfiliewi was the most abundant species, comprising 88.14% of the specimens identified. The greatest species diversity and abundance was recorded in human dwellings and in animal sheds. Sand flies were active from June to October, peaking in July-August in 2010 and July-September in 2011. Part of the females (n=8865) was grouped into 617 pools (range, 1-10 insects each) according to species, feeding status, day and site of collection. A total of four pools (10 non-engorged specimens each) and one engorged female of P. perfiliewi were positive for L. infantum. This study confirms that phlebotomine vectors in southern Italy are highly adapted to human-modified environments (e.g., animal sheds) and that P. perfiliewi is a major vector of L. infantum in some regions of southern Italy.

Ecology of phlebotomine sand flies and Leishmania infantum infection in a rural area of southern Italy.

DANTAS TORRES, FILIPE;TARALLO, VIVIANA DOMENICA;LATROFA, MARIA STEFANIA;LIA, Riccardo Paolo;OTRANTO, Domenico
2014-01-01

Abstract

Phlebotomine sand flies are insects of major medico-veterinary significance in the Mediterranean region, as they may transmit pathogens to animals and humans, including viruses and protozoa. The present study was conducted in southern Italy, in an area where visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum is endemic. Insects were collected monthly during two consecutive years using light traps set in five different ecologic contexts (i.e., a stonewall near a woodhouse, a tree near volcanic rocks in a high-altitude area, a tree trunk in a meadow habitat, a sheep stable, and a chicken coop) and weekly in one site (the garage of a private house). A total of 13,087 specimens were collected and six species identified (i.e., Phlebotomus perfiliewi, Phlebotomus perniciosus, Phlebotomus neglectus, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus mascittii, and Sergentomyia minuta), representing 75% of the total number of phlebotomine species found in Italy. P. perfiliewi was the most abundant species, comprising 88.14% of the specimens identified. The greatest species diversity and abundance was recorded in human dwellings and in animal sheds. Sand flies were active from June to October, peaking in July-August in 2010 and July-September in 2011. Part of the females (n=8865) was grouped into 617 pools (range, 1-10 insects each) according to species, feeding status, day and site of collection. A total of four pools (10 non-engorged specimens each) and one engorged female of P. perfiliewi were positive for L. infantum. This study confirms that phlebotomine vectors in southern Italy are highly adapted to human-modified environments (e.g., animal sheds) and that P. perfiliewi is a major vector of L. infantum in some regions of southern Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/126298
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