Last update: 15 March 2011

EDENext’s sand fly (Phlebotome)-borne diseases (PhBD) group will be focusing on leishmaniasis and Phlebovirus infections. Work conducted in EDEN has shown that sand fly distribution has changed in European countries. In parallel, an increase in human and canine leishmaniasis infections, as well as a spread of human infections by Toscana Phlebovirus has been reported. Moreover, following the intensification of migration and travelling, environmental changes and other aspects of globalisation, there is an increased risk for the introduction and spread of infections by Leishmania species such as L. tropica or L. donovani in Europe and in the newly emerging Leishmania hybrids.

EDENext will be generating or updating vector and PhBD risk maps of Europe and adjacent regions, and creating public websites providing key information about sand flies, leishmaniases and Phlebovirus disease.

Further work will be the study of spatial distribution of sand fly populations and their vector competence as well as to exploit genetic factors associated with spreading, colonisation and/or re-colonisation of geographic areas by various sand fly species. Risk of PhBD epidemics will be addressed, with particular regard to southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece) as well as bordering countries (Turkey, Georgia and Morocco) as possible sources of sand fly and disease spread.

Pathogen diagnostics will be conducted in both vectors and vertebrate hosts. Leishmania infection rates in sand flies and canine reservoirs will be assessed by serological, parasitological and molecular techniques to investigate trends in disease distribution and spread.

Last update: 15 March 2011

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