Phlebotomus perfiliewi transcaucasicus is circulating both Leishmania donovani and L. infantum in northwest Iran.Exp Parasitol. 2009 Nov; 123(3):218-25.EP
Leishmania infantum is the causative agent of infantile visceral leishmaniasis (IVL) in the Mediterranean Basin and, based on isoenzyme typing of the parasite isolated from dogs; this parasite was considered to predominate in the all foci of IVL in Iran. However, based on PCR detection and sequencing of parasite Cysteine Protease B (CPB), only one out of seven sandfly infections in Phlebotomus perfiliewi transcaucasicus was found to be L. infantum in the current investigation. The six other infections were haplotypes of Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of anthroponotic visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) in West Africa and India. The deduced amino acid of the L. donovani haplotype was found to be novel and the shortest CPB protein reported within the Leishmania spp. Circulation of both L. donovani and L. infantum by P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus, in addition to previous data indicating its ability to circulate L. tropica, suggests that this species, like other vectors of VL, is a permissive vector. Finding L. donovani infecting P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus in the area demands extensive and intensive typing of natural Leishmania infections in epidemiological investigations in Iran and the Mediterranean Basin in general.