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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-90

Phlebotomus sergenti a common vector of Leishmania tropica and Toscana virus in Morocco

1 Laboratoire de parasitologie et de maladies vectorielles, Institut Pasteur du Maroc, Casablanca; Département de Biologie, Faculté des sciences et techniques, Mohammadia, Morocco
2 Laboratoire de parasitologie et de maladies vectorielles, Institut Pasteur du Maroc, Casablanca, Morocco
3 Aix Marseille Univ, IRD French Institute of Research for Development, EHESP French School of Public Health, UMR_D 190 “Emergence des Pathologies Virales”, Marseille, France
4 Département de Biologie, Faculté des sciences et techniques, Mohammadia, Morocco

Correspondence Address:
Meryem Lemrani
Institut Pasteur du Maroc, Laboratoire de parasitologie et de maladies vectorielles, 1 Place Louis Pasteur, 20360, Casablanca
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24947214

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Background & objectives: An entomological study using CDC miniature light-traps was performed in El Hanchane locality, where cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) was emerging during the summer of 2011. The aim of this study is to identify the vectors of Leishmania and of phleboviruses. Methods: In the field, a total of 643 sandfly specimens were collected, identified by morphological keys and categorized by sex and species. A total of nine distinct species were morphologically identified where seven belonged to the Phlebotomus genus and two species to the Sergentomyia genus. Phlebotomus sergenti was the most abundant species (76%). Phleboviruses were detected by nested RT-PCR using 30 pooled sandflies while P. sergenti females were tested individually for infections of Leishmania species. Results: By using ITS1-PCR-RFLP approach, Leishmania tropica DNA was detected in 10 females, caught in this emerging focus, and provide additional evidence in favour of the role of P. sergenti as vector of L. tropica in Morocco. Real-time PCR screening for phlebovirus RNA, using an assay targeting the polymerase gene, showed positive result in one pool of male P. sergenti. Interpretation & conclusion: In this study, P. sergenti were infected by L. tropica and Toscana virus. To our knowledge, actually this is the first time that Toscana virus has been detected in P. sergenti.

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