Molecular Survey on Detection of Leishmania Infection in Rodent Reservoirs in Jahrom District, Southern Iran.
AbstractBackground: Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ZCL) is endemic in many parts of Iran. Recently its incidence isconsiderable in different parts of Jahrom district, in Fars Province, southern Iran. The aims of our study were to in- vestigate the prevalence of leishmania infection, and identify and characterize the Leishmania species present, among the rodents by molecular methods in a new endemic focus of ZCL, in an urban and rural area of the Jahrom district, Fars Province, southern Iran.Methods: From May to November 2010), 55 rodents in four regions of Jahrom focus were caught and checked for leishmania infection by the microscopical examination of liver, spleen, ears, and footpads’ smears.Results: Overall 18 Meriones persicus, 15 Tatera indica, 14 Mus musculus, and 8 Rattus rattus were caught. Totally, four (16.5%) and two (13.3%) of the Me. persicus and Ta. indica, but only one of Mu. musculus and Ra. rattus were found smear-positive for leishmania amastigotes, respectively. In the nested-PCR assay 8 (14.6%) smears were found positive for Leishmania major, none was found positive for any other Leishmania species. Sequencing based detection of Leishmania confirmed the microscopic and PCR findings. All positive specimens were shown 95–96% similarity with L. major Friedlin.Conclusion: Tatera indica and Me. persicus are incriminated as the main ‘reservoir’ hosts of L. major in the rural area of Jahrom, moreover, Mu. musculus and Ra. rattus have the minor but remarkable role in the maintenance of the disease in the urban regions of Jahrom focus.
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