- Epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis in Shebelle Zone of Somali Region, eastern Ethiopia. [Journal Article]
- PVParasit Vectors 2019 May 06; 12(1):209
- CONCLUSIONS: The present findings revealed potential new VL-transmission foci in the study districts. Therefore, the need for parasitological and molecular characterization of the parasite in humans and vector sand flies is of paramount importance to confirm transmission.
- Establishment, Maintenance of Phlebotomus spp. in the Laboratory, and Infection with Leishmania spp. [Journal Article]
- MMMethods Mol Biol 2019; 1971:351-368
- Sand fly colonies are of major importance for experimental studies on biology, behavior, vector competence, relationship with Leishmania parasites, and vector control. This chapter is intended to pro…
Sand fly colonies are of major importance for experimental studies on biology, behavior, vector competence, relationship with Leishmania parasites, and vector control. This chapter is intended to provide methods and techniques used to initiate, establish, and maintain sand fly colonies. Details on collecting sand flies for colonization, colony initiation, maintenance, and experimental infection of Phlebotomus spp. with Leishmania spp. are reported.
- Inventory and taxonomy of phlebotomine sand flies of the Mokolo leishmaniasis focus, northern Cameroon, with description of new Sergentomyia taxa (Diptera: Psychodidae). [Journal Article]
- ATActa Trop 2019; 194:172-180
- Leishmaniasis is endemic in northern Cameroon. However, the sand fly vectors have not been incriminated. A sand fly species inventory was generated by integrating a number of techniques. Miniature li…
Leishmaniasis is endemic in northern Cameroon. However, the sand fly vectors have not been incriminated. A sand fly species inventory was generated by integrating a number of techniques. Miniature light traps were used for collecting sand flies in a variety of ecotopes found across the area, and a morphological and molecular identification approach for taxonomic confirmation was undertaken. In a pilot survey conducted in September 2012, we captured 687 sand flies, 259 of which were morphologically identified to species level. They represent 14 species of the genera Sergentomyia and Grassomyia. No Phlebotomus spp. were found. A second series of collections was carried out during 2013 in five different environmental setups: two urban, two peri-urban/rural and one sylvatic; 14,036 sand flies (6665 males and 7371 females) were collected. A total of 5926 females and 98 males were morphologically identified to species level, representing 19 species of the genera Sergentomyia, Grassomyia and Phlebotomus, including Ph. duboscqi, a known vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the region. Two new taxa were found and are described: Sergentomyia (Sintonius) thomsoni mandarai ssp. nov. and Se. coronula sp. nov. Our study is the first to report the following species in Cameroon: Se. (Sin.) thomsoni (as ssp. nov. mandarai), Se. (Ser.) cincta, Se. (Sin.) affinis ssp. vorax, Se. (Sin.) adami, Se. (Sin.) herollandi, and Se. (Sin.) christophersi. In addition, some morphologically atypical Sergentomyia specimens (combination of Ser. x Sin. traits) were recorded. A checklist of 32 species reports from Cameroon is presented.
- Experimental Infection of Sand Flies by Massilia Virus and Viral Transmission by Co-Feeding on Sugar Meal. [Journal Article]
- VViruses 2019 Apr 09; 11(4)
- Background: Massilia virus (MASV) is a phlebovirus isolated from Phlebotomus perniciosus in various regions of southwestern Europe. It is closely related to human pathogens such as Toscana virus and…
Background: Massilia virus (MASV) is a phlebovirus isolated from Phlebotomus perniciosus in various regions of southwestern Europe. It is closely related to human pathogens such as Toscana virus and sandfly fever Naples virus. The natural cycle of phleboviruses is poorly understood. Indeed, experimental studies demonstrate that transovarial and sexual transmission are not efficient enough for the maintenance of the virus in nature and to date there is no convincing evidence that a species of vertebrates is the reservoir of the virus. Here, we studied various transmission routes of MASV taking advantage of experimental colonies representing different species of sand flies. Methodology/Principal findings: In P. perniciosus, four sources of infection were compared: (i) Virus-seeded larval food to the first instar larvae (L1), or (ii) to the fourth instar larvae (L4), (iii) virus-seeded blood meal to adult females, and (iv) virus-seeded sugar meal to adults of both sexes. From 875 adults emerged from infected L1 and L4, only three were positive. In females infected by bloodmeal the infection rate was high before defecation, then it decreased drastically; MASV RNA was detected in only 5 out of 27 post-defecation. Surprisingly, the most efficient route of infection was observed after intake of virus-seeded sugar meal: 72% of females (79/110) and 52% of males (51/99) were found to be MASV RNA-positive. In addition, MASV-infected sandflies regurgitated virus particules into the sugar drop and MASV RNA was detectable in this drop for at least 24 h after regurgitation. MASV RNA was detected in about one third of the P. perniciosus exposed to this sugar drop contaminated by regurgitation. Sugar meal infection was also tested with six other species of sand flies. In males, there were no significant differences in infection rates when compared to P. perniciosus. In females, most species tested showed high infection rate at the beginning but then significant gradual decrease in infection rate during the experiment. Conclusions/Significance: We present the first description of arboviral infection of a dipteran vector using sugar meal. In all seven sand fly species tested, MASV was detected for two weeks post-infection. Our results showed that MASV can be transmitted between P. perniciosus either through co-feeding or via an infected sugar source such as plant sap. These newly described routes of horizontal transmission may play an important role in the circulation of phleboviruses in nature.
- Epidemiological features of a recent zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis outbreak in Zagora province, southern Morocco. [Journal Article]
- PNPLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019; 13(4):e0007321
- CONCLUSIONS: Among 114 clinically diagnosed CL patients, we confirmed 90.35% and identified L. major as the species responsible for this outbreak. Self-medication using various products caused superinfection and inflammation of lesions and complicated the diagnosis and treatment. Thus, ZCL remains a major public health problem in the Zagora province, and commitment of all stakeholders is urgently required to implement a sustainable regional control program.
- Laboratory transmission of an Asian strain of Leishmania tropica by the bite of the southern European sand fly Phlebotomus perniciosus. [Journal Article]
- IJInt J Parasitol 2019; 49(6):417-421
- Imported cases of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania tropica are increasingly documented in Europe. We investigated the ability of Phlebotomus perniciosus, a competent vector of …
Imported cases of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania tropica are increasingly documented in Europe. We investigated the ability of Phlebotomus perniciosus, a competent vector of Leishmania infantum widespread in southwestern Europe, to support the growth and transmissibility of an Asian strain of L. tropica recently isolated from a refugee. Parasite growth behavior was investigated in laboratory-reared sand flies fed artificially with promastigotes as well as in sand flies infected after biting on footpad lesions induced in hamsters by promastigote inoculation. The evolution of infection was checked by gut microscopy and quantitative real-time PCR, and it was found to be similar between promastigote- and amastigote-initiated infections. In 80% of infected sand flies, despite survival and flourishing growth of promastigotes after blood digestion and defecation, either the parasites died, or failed to migrate to the foregut and/or to mature into infective forms. However, in the remaining 20% L. tropica developed into abundant metacyclic promastigotes. The quantitative real-time PCR assay detected variable loads of gut promastigotes irrespective of morphological evidence of viability or progressive/final death. Parasite transmissibility was investigated by exposing naive hamsters to P. perniciosus previously infected on chronic lesions induced in hamsters which survived to take a second blood meal. Two months post exposure, lesions developed in skin sites bitten by sand flies confirmed to harbor metacyclic promastigotes; in the following months, the presence of viable and transmissible L. tropica parasites in lesions was demonstrated by xenodiagnosis assays. Our findings support the hypothesis that, in particular epidemiological situations, P. perniciosus may play the role of an occasional L. tropica vector.
- Functional and structural similarities of D7 proteins in the independently-evolved salivary secretions of sand flies and mosquitoes. [Journal Article]
- SRSci Rep 2019 Mar 29; 9(1):5340
- The habit of blood feeding evolved independently in many insect orders of families. Sand flies and mosquitoes belong to separate lineages of blood-feeding Diptera and are thus considered to have evol…
The habit of blood feeding evolved independently in many insect orders of families. Sand flies and mosquitoes belong to separate lineages of blood-feeding Diptera and are thus considered to have evolved the trait independently. Because of this, sand fly salivary proteins differ structurally from those of mosquitoes, and orthologous groups are nearly impossible to define. An exception is the long-form D7-like proteins that show conservation with their mosquito counterparts of numerous residues associated with the N-terminal domain binding pocket. In mosquitoes, this pocket is responsible for the scavenging of proinflammatory cysteinyl leukotrienes and thromboxanes at the feeding site. Here we show that long-form D7 proteins AGE83092 and ABI15936 from the sand fly species, Phlebotomus papatasi and P. duboscqi, respectively, inhibit the activation of platelets by collagen and the thromboxane A2 analog U46619. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we also demonstrate direct binding of U46619 and cysteinyl leukotrienes C4, D4 and E4 to the P. papatasi protein. The crystal structure of P. duboscqi ABI15936 was determined and found to contain two domains oriented similarly to those of the mosquito proteins. The N-terminal domain contains an apparent eicosanoid binding pocket. The C-terminal domain is smaller in overall size than in the mosquito D7s and is missing some helical elements. Consequently, it does not contain an obvious internal binding pocket for small-molecule ligands that bind to many mosquito D7s. Structural similarities indicate that mosquito and sand fly D7 proteins have evolved from similar progenitors, but phylogenetics and differences in intron/exon structure suggest that they may have acquired the ability to bind vertebrate eicosanoids independently, indicating a convergent evolution scenario.
- Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome can masquerade as hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. [Journal Article]
- PNPLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019; 13(3):e0007308
- CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that SFTS patients could be clinically misdiagnosed as HFRS. The misdiagnosis of SFTS as HFRS causes particular concern because it may increase the risk of death of SFTS patients and person-to-person transmission of SFTSV without proper care for and isolation of SFTS patients.
- Designing and Introducing a New Artificial Feeding Apparatus for Sand Fly Rearing. [Journal Article]
- JAJ Arthropod Borne Dis 2018; 12(4):426-431
- CONCLUSIONS: Sand fly artificial feeding apparatus can be used at least for rearing of Ph. papatasi.
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- Seasonal dynamics of a population of Phlebotomus (Larroussius) perfiliewi Parrot, 1930 (Diptera: Psychodidae) in North-Eastern Romania. [Journal Article]
- PRParasitol Res 2019; 118(5):1371-1384
- Sand flies were collected in a location from Romania in order to estimate their abundance and seasonal variation in correlation with environmental and anthropic factors. From May to October 2017, eig…
Sand flies were collected in a location from Romania in order to estimate their abundance and seasonal variation in correlation with environmental and anthropic factors. From May to October 2017, eight premises with different animal species were sampled for sand flies in a household from Fundătura village, Vaslui County, in North-Eastern Romania. Animal-related data, shelter-related data, and climatic parameters were recorded. All (n = 150) collected sand flies were Phlebotomus perfiliewi. A mono-modal type of abundance trend has been recorded (a single peak at the beginning of August). The first day of capture was in mid-July. The total number of females during the peak season was significantly higher than the total number of males. The highest percentage of males was recorded at the beginning and at the end of the sand fly activity. Only the traps placed in the poultry enclosure built from clay and wood were positive. A strong positive correlation was recorded between the total number of collected sand flies and the minimum and the maximum temperature. The analysis of the climatic data shows that the first presence of sand flies was registered only after the average minimum temperature for the previous 7 days was above 15 °C.