Publication: Role of Phlebotomus sergenti in leishmaniasis focus in Morocco
Researchers have found evidence supporting the notion that Phlebotomus sergenti is the primary vector of Leishmania tropica in a cutaneous leishmaniasis focus in the High Atlas of Morocco and established that the vector feeds on a variety of vertebrates, paving the way for future investigations.
Writing in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, they report: “In Morocco three Leishmania species have been reported to cause cutaneous leishmaniasis: Leishmania major, Leishmania tropica and less frequently Leishmania infantum. Amongst these clinically important Leishmania species, Leishmania tropica is considered as a public health problem by the Ministry of Health in Morocco and other endemic countries. Phlebotomus sergenti is the known vector, which is thought to take blood meals mainly from humans, since they appear to be the sole reservoir, considering anthroponosis of the cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. tropica in many endemic areas.
“In the present study, we investigated by molecular tools the presence of Leishmania in field-caught Phlebotomus, as well as the heterogeneity of Leishmania tropica in a cutaneous leishmaniasis focus in High Atlas of Morocco. Our results showed a high infection rate of Phlebotomus sergenti, which may be a consequence of high level of the parasite circulating in this region; and underlined the important genetic heterogeneity of Leishmania tropica in Morocco.
“Analysis of the blood meals of the vectors showed that Phlebotomus sergenti fed on a variety of vertebrates, including wild animals, such as rodent, monkey and bat. Whether these animals play any role in the maintenance of Leishmania tropica in this focus awaits further investigation.”
Taken from: Ajaoud M, Es-Sette N, Charrel RN, Laamrani-Idrissi A, Nhammi H, Riyad M, et al. (2015) Phlebotomus sergenti in a Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Focus in Azilal Province (High Atlas, Morocco): Molecular Detection and Genotyping of Leishmania tropica, and Feeding Behavior. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(3): e0003687. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003687 (EDENext331)
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