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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

Natural infection of wild caught Phlebotomus tobbi to Leishmania infantum in East Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran

1 Department of Medical Entomology & Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Medical Science/University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
3 Department of Deputy of Strategic Planning, Reference Health Laboratories Research Center, Deputy of Treatment, Ministry of Health & Medical Education of Health, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Y Rassi
Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, P.O. Box: 6446-14155
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23703436

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Background & objectives: Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis is caused by Leishmania infantum, which is transmitted to humans by bites of phlebotomine sandflies and is one of the most important public health problems in Iran. To detect and identify the Leishmania parasites and their corresponding vector(s), an investigation was carried out in Azarshahr County, a new and important focus of the disease in East Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran during late April to late October 2010. Methods: Sandflies were sampled using sticky papers (A4 white paper soaked in castor oil) from inside and outside of the houses and animal shelters, close to the vegetation and crevices. The head and three last abdomen segments of the specimens were removed and mounted in Puri's medium for species identification. The rest of body was subjected to molecular methods for detection of leishmanial parasites. Results: Among 400 female sandflies tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of kDNA, ITS1-rDNA, and CPB genes of the parasite followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), only 2 out of 8 Phlebotomus tobbi were positive to L. infantum parasites. Conclusion: The results indicated that, P. tobbi was the only species found infected by L.infantum and the principal vector of the disease agent to human.

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