Original Article

The Effect of Geographical and Climatic Factors on the Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Golestan Province, an Endemic Focus of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Iran, 2014


Background: Phlebotomus papatasi is known as the main vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. This study aimed to investigate the effect of geographical and bioclimatic factors on the Ph. papatasi distribution.

Methods: A total of 34 villages were selected, and sampling was performed three times using 120 sticky traps in each selected village. All the collected species were mounted and identified their species. The densities of Ph. papatasi were measured in all the villages and entered into ArcMap as a point layer. The required bioclimatic and environmental vari­ables were extracted from the global climate database and The normalized difference vegetation index was obtained from the MODIS satellite imagery, also, all variables entered into ArcMap as raster layers, so The numerical value of each independent variable in the cell where the selected village is located in this, was extracted using spatial analyst tools and the value to point submenu. All the data were finally entered into IBM SPSS, and the relationship was exam­ined between the number of collected Ph. papatasi and the independent variables using Spearman's correlation test.

Results: A total of 1773 specimens of Ph. papatasi were collected. The findings of this study showed that max tem­perature of warmest month, temperature annual range, temperature seasonality, mean diurnal range, precipitation sea­sonality, mean temperature of driest and warmest quarter were positively associated with the density of Ph. papatasi.

Conclusion: Air temperature and precipitation were shown as the most significant factors in the distribution of Ph. pa­patasi.

1. Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR (2012) Phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Iran and their role on Leishmania transmission. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 6: 1–17.
2. Parvizi P, Akhoundi M, Mirzaei H (2012) Distribution, fauna and seasonal variation of sandflies, simultaneous detection of nuclear internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA gene of Leishmania major in Rhombomys opimus and Phlebotomus papatasi, in Natanz District in central part of Iran. Iran Biomed J. 16(2): 113–120.
3. Karmaoui A (2020) Seasonal distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi, vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. Acta Parasit. 65: 585–598
4. Cherabin M, Sofizadeh A, Palideh AR, Gharavi AH, Gharavi M (2012) Epidemiological characteristics of cautaneous leishmaniasis in Maraveh tapeh District, Golestan Province during 2006–2010. J Zabol Univ Med Sci. 4(1): 19–27 (Persian).
5. Sofizadeh A, Faraji Far AA, Cherabin M, Badiei F, Cherabin M, Sarli J, Yapang Gharavi M, Mehravaran A (2013) Cutaneous leishmaniasis in Gonbad Kavoos, north of Iran (2009–2011): an epidemiological study. J Gorgan Univ Med Sci. 14(4): 100–106 (Persian).
6. Sofizadeh A, Ghorbani M, Gorganli Davaji A, Gharemeshk Gharavi A (2015) Epidemiological status of cutaneous leishmaniasis and ecological characteristics of sandflies in Maraveh-Tapeh County, Golestan Province, 2011–2012, Iran. Qom Univ Med Sci J. 9(6): 53–65 (Persian).
7. Sofizadeh A, Vatandoost H, Rassi Y, Hanafi-Bojd AA, Rafizadeh S (2016) Spatial analyses of relation between rodent’s active burrows and incidence of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Golestan Province, northeastern of Iran. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 10(4): 569–576.
8. Agh-Ataby MD, Sofizadeh A, Ozbaki GM, Malaki-Ravasan N, Ghanbari MR, Mozafari O (2016) Ecoepidemiological characteristics of a hypoendemic focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in north Iran (southeast of Caspian Sea). J Vector Borne Dis. 53: 248–256.
9. Rassi Y, Sofizadeh A, Abai MR, Oshaghi MA, Rafizadeh S, Mohebail M, Mohtaram F, Salahi R (2008) Molecular detection of Leishmania major in the vectors and reservoir hosts of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Kalaleh District, Golestan Province, Iran. Iran J Arthropod Borne Dis. 2(2): 21–27.
10. Akhoundi M, Mohebali M, Asadi M, Mahmoodi MR, Amraei K, Mirzaei A (2013) Molecular characterization of Leishmania spp. in reservoir hosts in endemic foci of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. Folia Parasitol. 60(3): 218–224.
11. Bordbar A, Parvizi P (2014) High density of Leishmania major and rarity of other mammals' Leishmania in zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis foci, Iran. Trop Med Int Health. 19(3): 355–363.
12. Roshanghalb M, Parvizi P (2012) Isolation and determination of Leishmania major and Leishmania turanika in Phlebotomus papatasi main vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Turkmen Sahra, Golestan Province. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 21(Suppl 1): 74–83 (Persian).
13. Mozafari O, Sofizadeh A, Shoraka HR, Namroodi J, Kalteh EA (2020) Ecoepi-demiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Golestan Province, northeastern Iran: a systematic review. Jorjani Biomed J. 8(1): 60–78.
14. Jorjani O, Mirkarimi K, Charkazi A, Dadban Shahamat Y, Mehrbakhsh Z, Bagheri A (2019) The epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Golestan Province, Iran: A cross-sectional study of 8-years. Parasite Epidemiol Control. 5: e00099.
15. Sofizadeh A, Rassi Y, Hanafi-Bojd AA, Shoraka HR, Mesgarian F, Rafizadeh S (2018) Distribution and ecological aspects of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) species northeastern Iran. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 11(9): 526–533.
16. Correa Antonialli S, Torres TG, Paranhos Filho AC, Tolezano JE (2007) spatial analysis of american analysis of american visceral leishmaniasis in Mato Grosso do Sul State, Central Brazil. J Infect. 54: 509–514.
17. Azimi F, Shirian S, Jangjoo S, Ai A, Abbasi T (2017) impact of climate variability on the occurrence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Khuzestan Province, South-western Iran. Geospat Health. 12(1): 15–22.
18. Rodriguez-Morales AJ (2005) Ecoepidemiology and satellite epidemiology: new tools in the management of public health problems. Rev per Med Exper Salud Publ. 22: 54–63.
19. Rassi Y, Hanafi-Bojd AA (2006) Sand-flies, Vectors of Leishmaniasis. 1nd. No-avaran-e- Elm Publ, Tehran (Persian).
20. Abdel-Dayem MS, Annajar BB, Hanafi-Bojd HA, Obenauer PJ (2012) The potential distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Libya based on ecological niche model. J Med Entomol. 49(3): 739–745.
21. Sofizadeh A, Rassi Y, Vatandoost H, Hanafi-Bojd AA, Mollalo A, Rafizadeh S, Akhavan AA (2017) Predicting the distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), the primary vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis, in Golestan Province of Iran using ecological niche modeling: comparison of MaxEnt and GARP Models. J Med Entomol. 54 (2): 312–320.
22. Hanafi-Bojd AA, Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR, Haghdoost AA, Akhavan AA, Rassi Y, Karimi A, Charrahy Z (2015) Modeling the distribution of cutaneous leishmaniasis vectors (Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) in Iran: a potential transmission in disease prone areas. J Med Entomol. 52(4): 557–565.
23. Colacicco-Mayhugh MG, Masuoka PM, Grieco J (2010) Ecological niche model of Phlebotomus alexandri and P. papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the Middle East. Int J Health Geog. 9(2): 1–9.
24. Ahmadpour M, Rezaei HR, Oshaghi MA Hosseinzadeh Colagar A (2018) Model-ing of the geographical distribution effects of great gerbil (Rhombomis opi-mus) on distribution of sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi in Golestan Province. J Animal Environment. 9(4): 73–80 (Persian).
25. Theodor O, Mesghali A (1964) On the Phlebotominae of Iran. J Med Entomol. 1(3): 285–300.
26. Seyedi-Rashti MA, Nadim A (1992) The genus Phlebotomus (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) of the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Iran J Publ Health. 21(1–4): 11–50.
27. Zalom FG, Goodell PB, Wilson LT, Barnett WW, Bentley WJ (1983) Degree-days: The calculation and use of heat units in pest management. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, UC DANR Leaflet 21373, California.
28. Kasap OE, Alten B (2005) Laboratory estimation of degree-day developmental requirements of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae). J Vector Ecol. 30(2): 328–333.
29. Oshaghi MA, Maleki Ravasan N, Javadian E, Rassi Y, Sadraei J, Enayati AA, Vatandoost H, Zare Z, Emami SN (2009) Application of predictive degree day model for field development of sandfly vectors of visceral leishmaniasis in northwest of Iran. J Vector Borne Dis. 46(4): 247–55.
30. Elith J, Graham CH, Anderson RP, Dudik M, Ferrier S, Guisan A, Hijmans RJ, Huettmann F, Leathwick JR, Lehmann A (2006) novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurance data. Ecography. 29(2): 129–151.
31. González C, Paz A, Ferro C (2014) Predicted altitudinal shifts and reduced spatial distribution of Leishmania infantum vector species under climate change sce¬narios in Colombia. Acta Trop. 129: 83–90.
32. Queiroz MFM, Varjão JR, Moraes SC, Salcedo GE (2012) Analysis of sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Barra do Garças State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, and the infuence of environmental variables on the vector density of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva, 1912). Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 45(3): 313–317.
33. Peterson AT, Shaw J (2003) Lutzomyia vectors for cutaneous leishmaniasis in southern Brazil: ecological niche models, predicted geographic distributions, and cli¬mate change effects. Int J Parasitol. 33 (9): 919–931.
34. Salomón OS, María Gabriela Quintana MG, Isolina Flores I, Ana María Andina AM, Silvia Molina S, Lucía Montivero L, Isabel Rosales I (2006) Phlebotominae sand flies associated with a tegumentary leishmaniasis outbreak, Tucumán Province, Argentina. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 39(4): 341–346.
35. Kasap OE, Alten B (2006) Comparative demography of the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) at constant temperatures. J Vector Ecol. 31: 378–385
36. Kasap OE, Alten B (2005) Laboratory estimation of degreeday developmental requirements of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae). J Vector Ecol. 30: 328–333.
37. Simsek FM, Alten B, Caglar SS, Ozbel Y, Aytekin AM, Kaynas S, Belen A, Kasap OE, Yaman M, Rastgeldi S (2007) Dis-tribution and altitudinal structuring of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in southern Anatolia, Turkey: their relation to human cutaneous leishmaniasis. J Vector Ecol. 32: 285–291.
38. Koch LK, Kochmann J, Klimpel S, Cunze S (2017) Modeling the climatic suitability of leishmaniasis vector species in Eu-rope. Scientific Reports. 7(13325): 1–10.
39. Rodgers MSM, Bavia ME, Fonseca EOL, Cova BO, Silva MMN, Trabuco Carneiro DDM, Cardim LL, Malone JB (2019) Ecological niche models for sand fly species and predicted distribution of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae) and visceral leishmaniasis in Bahia state, Brazil. Environ Monit Assess. 191(Suppl 2): 331.
40. Sherlock IA (1996) Ecological interactions of visceral leishmaniasis in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 91: 671–683.
41. Boussaa S, Kahime K, Samy A, Boumezzough A (2016) Species composition of sand flies and bionomics of Phlebotomus papatasi and P. sergenti (Diptera: Psychodidae) in cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic foci, Morocco. Parasite Vectors. 9: 60.
42. Mollalo A, Alimohammadi A, Shahrisvand M, Shirzadi MR, Malek MR (2014) Spatial and statistical analyses of the relations between vegetation cover and incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in an endemic province, northeast of Iran. Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 4(3): 176–180.
43. Zaidi F, Fatima SH, Jan T, Fatima M, Ali A, Khisroon M, Adnan M, Rasheed SB (2017) Environmental risk modelling and potential sand fly vectors of cutaneous leishmanisis in Chitral District: a leishmanial focal point of mount Tirich Mir, Pakistan. Trop Med Int Health. 22(9): 1130–1140.
44. Mollalo A, Sadeghian A, Israel GD, Ra-shidi P, Sofizadeh A, Glass GE (2018) Machine learning approaches in GIS-based ecological modeling of the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi, a vector of zo¬onotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Golestan Province, Iran. Acta Trop. 188: 187–194.
IssueVol 15 No 2 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jad.v15i2.7491
Ecology; Phlebotomine sand fly; GIS

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Hosseini SH, Allah-Kalteh E, Sofizadeh A. The Effect of Geographical and Climatic Factors on the Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Golestan Province, an Endemic Focus of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Iran, 2014. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 2021;15(2):225-235.