Location: Location not imported yet.Title: Species composition, activity patterns and blood meal analysis of sand fly populations (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the metropolitan region of Thessaloniki, an endemic focus of canine leishmaniasis
|CHASKOPOULOU, ALEXANDRA - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)|
|GIANTSIS, IOANNIS - American Farm School|
|DEMIR, SAMIYE - Ege University|
|BON, MARIE-CLAUDE - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)|
Submitted to: ACTA TROPICA
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Chaskopoulou, A., Giantsis, I., Demir, S., Bon, M. 2016. Species composition, activity patterns and blood meal analysis of sand fly populations (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the metropolitan region of Thessaloniki, an endemic focus of canine leishmaniasis. ACTA TROPICA. 158: 170-176.
Interpretive Summary: Sand fly species of the genera Phlebotomus (Old World) and Lutzomyia (New World) are responsible for the transmission of Leishmania parasitic protozoans. Even though leishmaniasis is not common in the United States (occasional cases have been acquired in Oklahoma and Texas), the disease constitutes a major threat to the US military during their overseas operations. In this study we successfully managed to a) identify sand fly species using morphology and DNA barcoding that are currently present in a leishmaniasis endemic region of North Greece, b) compare their relative abundance and activity patterns across 3 different habitats (animal facilities, agricultural fields, and residential areas) and c) investigate blood feeding preferences of the most dominant species. This information is useful for identifying periods and areas of increased sand fly activity and can be used for improving vector control programs by targeting the sand flies in a timely manner focusing on high priority areas conducive to sand fly breeding. Also, knowledge on the blood feeding preferences of the most prevalent species is of great ecological and epidemiological relevance and may provide an insight into their role in the zoonotic and anthroponotic transmission of leishmaniasis.
Technical Abstract: Species composition, activity patterns and blood meal analysis of sand fly populations were investigated in the metropolitan region of Thessaloniki, North Greece from May to October 2011. Sampling was conducted weekly in 3 different environments (animal facilities, open fields, residential areas) along the outskirts of the city in areas of increased canine leishmania transmission. Six sand fly species (Phlebotomus perfiliewi, Phlebotomus tobbi, Phlebotomus simici, Plebotomus papatasi, Sergentomya minuta and Sergentomya dentata) were identified using both classical and molecular techniques. DNA barcodes were characterized for the first time for two (P. simici and S. dentata) of the six recorded species. Phylogenetic analysis based on the COI gene sequences confirmed the grouping of P. tobbi, P. perniciosus and P. perfiliewi (subgenus Larrousius) and the monophyly of P. simici (subgenus Adlerius). By far the most prevalent species was P. perfiliewi, followed by P. simici and P. tobbi. The largest populations of sand flies were collected from animal facilities, followed by residential areas and open agricultural fields. Peak activity of sand flies overall occurred mid-August to mid-September and then declined sharply in October. Blood meal analysis showed that P. perfiliewi and P. simici feed preferentially on humans (88% & 95%, respectively) but also feed on chickens and goats. When designing a control strategy to alleviate sand fly nuisance in the region of Thessaloniki the following conclusions can be reached from this study: a) August and September are high risk months due to increased sand fly activity levels, b) animal facilities within or adjacent to urban settlements are high risk areas and may act as a maintenance and amplification foci for the vector as well as the parasite, and c) the abundance, ubiquity and feeding behavior of P. perfiliewi and P. simici establishes them as potentially important vectors of Leishmania in the region.