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The potential future change of the suitability patterns of six leishmaniasis vectors in Iran

 Institute of Environmental Engineering; University of Pannonia, Department of Limnology, H-8200, Veszprém, Egyetem utca 10, H-8200, Veszprém, Hungary

Correspondence Address:
Attila J Trajer,
Institute of Environmental Engineering, University of Pannonia, Egyetem utca 10, H-8200, Veszprém
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.316277

Background & objectives: Visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis are endemic in Iran. The aim of this study was to model the changing suitability patterns of five confirmed and one suspected leishmaniasis vector Phlebotomus species resident in the country. Methods: The potential present and future suitability patterns of the sandfly species in Iran were modelled using climate envelope forecasting method for the reference period 1970—2000 and the future period 2041—2060. Results: The reference period climate of Iran seemed to be the most suitable for Phlebotomus perfiliewi and Phlebotomus tobbi and less suitable for Phlebotomus simili, while Phlebotomus neglectus, Phlebotomus papatasi and Phlebotomus sergenti showed intermediate values among the studied sandfly species. The modelled changes in the suitability values show a similar pattern in the case of the six species, even the exact magnitude of the modelled values varied. The model results indicate that climate change could decrease the sandfly habitability in the present-day arid regions in Central Iran. The Iranian sandfly populations will move to the higher elevation regions, and the suitability values of the sandfly species are predicted to increase in the foothills of the mountainous regions in the northern and the western part of the country. Interpretation & conclusions: The increase of the maximally suitable areas in Iran was found which was predicted to be accompanied by the parallel shrinkage of the sandfly-inhabited areas in the arid regions of the country. Topographical conditions could strongly influence the suitability patterns of the vectors in Iran.

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