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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 297-304

Modeling spatial distribution of Rhombomys opimus as the main reservoir host of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in northeastern Iran

1 Infectious Diseases Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
2 Department of Medical Entomology & Vector Control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Correspondence Address:
A A Hanafi-Bojd
Department of Medical Entomology and Vector control, School of Public Health, Tehran university of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.256565

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Background & objectives: Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) is among the most endemic zoonotic diseases in Golestan Province of Iran. The aim of this study was to find the high risk areas of this infection by considering the distribution of reservoirs and human infection. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted, in which Rhombomys opimus (Gerbils) were captured from different collection sites across the Golestan Province, Iran. records about the occurrence of Rh. opimus in the Province was obtained from earlier studies and were gathered in a database. Furthermore, records about the disease existence were also obtained from the health system database of Golestan Province. Villages with at least three cases of ZcL were considered endemic foci and used as presence sites for Leishmania major. ArcGIS and MaxEnt model were used to map and predict the best ecological niches for both reservoir and parasite. Results: According to the MaxEnt model, the area under Roc curve for Rh. opimus and L. major was 0.92 and 0.89, respectively. The probability of presence for both species in the northeastern part of Golestan Province was more than the other parts. The Jackknife test indicated that factors like temperature and altitude plays significant role in predicting the environmental suitability for ZcL reservoir and parasite, respectively. Interpretation & conclusion: this modeling approach predicted the areas suitable for reservoir host and circulation of parasite to human. These findings can be used in proper mapping, surveillance and control of the CL.

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