Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases 2008. 2(2):21-27.

Molecular Detection of Leishmania major in the Vectors and Reservoir Hosts of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Kalaleh District, Golestan Province, Iran
Y Rassi, A Sofizadeh, MR Abai, MA Oshaghi, S Rafizadeh, M Mohebail, F Mohtarami, R Salahi


Background: An epidemiological study was carried out on the vector(s) and reservoir(s) of cutaneous leishmaniasis in rural areas of Kalaleh District, Golestan Province during 2006 - 2007.
Methods: Totally 4900 sand flies were collected using sticky papers and were subjected to molecular methods for de­tection of leishmanial parasite.
Results: Phlebotomus papatasi was the common species in outdoor and indoor resting places. Employing PCR tech­nique showed only 1 out of 372 P. papatasi (0.3%) was positive to parasite due Leishmania major. Sixteen ro­dent reservoir hosts were captured by Sherman traps and identified as Rhombomys opimus. Microscopic investiga­tion on blood smear of the animals for amastigote parasites revealed 6(37.5%) infected rodents. Infection of these ani­mals to L. major was then confirmed by PCR against rDNA loci of the parasite.
Conclusion: This is the first molecular report of parasite infection of both vector (P. papatas) and reservoir (R. opimus) to L. major. The results indicated that P. papatas was the primary vector of the disease and circulating the para­site between human and reservoirs, and R. opimus was the most important host reservoir for maintenance of the para­site source in the area.


Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Vector, Reservoir, Iran,

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