Molecular Characterization of Leishmania Infection from Naturally Infected Sand Flies Caught in a Focus of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (Eastern Iran)


Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania major is a serious and increasing problem affecting manyrural areas of 17 out of 31 provinces in Iran. Little is known about sand fly fauna and leishmaniases in Eastern Iran and no study has been carried out in Sarbisheh County. The aim of this study was to determine sand flies composi- tion and probable Leishmania infection to find the probable vectors of leishmaniasis in Sarbisheh district.Methods: Sand flies were caught using both sticky papers and CDC light traps in August 2010. They were identified morphologically and analyzed for Leishmania infection by amplification of ITS-rDNA.Results: Totally, 842 specimens were caught and 8 species recorded. They belonged to the genera Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia: P. (Phlebotomus) papatasi, P. (Paraphlebotomus) sergenti, P. (Pa.) caucasicus, P. (Pa.) mongolensis, P. (Pa.) jacusieli, S. (Sergentomyia) dentata, S. (Se.) sintoni and S. (Sintonius) clydei. All collected females were processed for Leishmania DNA detection by PCR amplifying of Internal Transcribed Spacer1 (partial sequence),5.8S (complete sequence) and ITS2 (partial sequence) fragments. Thirteen females were positive for Leishmania DNA. The sequencing of the 430 bp amplicons indicated that 9  P. papatasi and 3 females belonging to the Caucasicus group carried L. major DNA whereas one P. sergenti carried L. tropica DNA.Conclusion: Phlebotomus papatasi and P. sergenti are, like in several places, the probable vectors of cutaneous leishmaniases in this emerging or unknown focus of cutaneous leishmaniases.

Abaei MA, Rassi Y, Imamian H, Fateh M, Mohebali M, Rafizadeh S, Hajjaran H, Azizi K, Ismaiili M (2007) PCR based on identification of vectors of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Shahrood district, central of Iran. Pak J Bio Sci.10(12): 2061–2065.

Al-Zahrani MA, Peters W, Evans DA, Chin C, Smith V, Lane RP (1988) Phlebotomus sergenti, a vector of Leishmania tropica in Saudi Arabia. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 82(3): 416–421.

Artemiev MM, Neronov VM (1984) Distri- bution and ecology of sand flies of the world (genus Phlebotomus). Inst Evol Morph Anim Ecol MSSR. 207 pp. [in Russian].

Bhutto AM, Soomro FR, Baloch JH, Matsumoto J, Uezato H, Hashiguchi O, Katakura K (2009) Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (L.) major infection in Sindh province, Pakistan. Acta Trop.11(2): 295–298.

Hall TA (1999) Bioedit: a user-friendly biolog- ical sequence alignment editor and anal- ysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucleic Acids Symp Ser 41: 95–98.

Iran Ministry of Health and Medical Educa- tion (IMHME) (2010) Official Report of Leishmania cases in Iran.

Javadian E, Dehestani M, Nadim A, Rassi Y, Tahvildare-Bidruni GH, Seyedi-Rashti MA, Shadmehr A (1998) Confirmation of Tatera indica (Rodentia: Ger- billidae) as the main reservoir host of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in the west of Iran. Iranian J Publ Health.27(2): 55–60.

Javadian E, Nadim A, Tahvildare-Bidruni G,Assefi V (1976) Epidemiology of cu- taneous leishmaniasis in Iran: B. Kho- rassan Part V: Report on a focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Esferayen. Bull Soc Pathol Exot.69(2): 140–143.

Kassiri H, Naddaf SR, Mohebali M, Javadian E (2012) Molecular Characterization of Leishmania Infection in Sand flies From Sistan va Baluchistan Province, South- eastern Iran. Jundishapur J Microbiol.5(2): 430–433.

Kassiri H, Javadian E, Hanafi-Bojd AA (2011a) Species composition of Phle- botomine sand flies (Diptera: Psy- chodidae) in Nikshahr county, south- eastern Iran. J Vector Borne Dis. 48 (2): 159–162.

Kassiri H, Javadian E, Abdigoudarzi M (2011b) Natural Leishmania Infection in Meriones hurrianae and Tatera indica (Rodentia: Cricetidae: Gerbillinae) in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, South- Eastern of Iran. Adv. Studies in Biol.3(6): 247–256.

Lawyer PG, Mebrahtu YB, Ngumbi PM, Mwanyumba P, Mbugua J, Kiilu G, Kipkoech D, Nzovu J, Anjili CO (1991) Phlebotomus guggisbergi (Diptera: Psychodidae), a vector of Leishmania tropica in Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 44(3): 290–298.

Mesghali A, Seyedi-Rashti MA, Nadim A (1967) Epidemiology of cutaneous leish- maniasis in Iran. II. Natural lepto- monad infection of sand flies in the Meshed and Lotfabad areas. Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 60(6): 514–518.

Nadim A, Tahvildar Bidruni G (1977) Epi- demiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran: B. Khorassan. VI. Cutaneous leishmaniasis in Neishabur, Iran. Bull Soc Pathol exot. 70(2): 171–177.

Nadim A, Seyedi-Rashti MA (1972) Epi- demiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Khorasan. Iran Health J. 1(2): 154–167 (In Persian).

Nadim A, Mesghali A, Seyedi-Rashti MA (1971) Epidemiology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran: B. Khorassan. Part IV: distribution of sand flies. Bull Soc Pathol exot. 64(6): 865–870.

Nadim A, Seyedi-Rashti MA (1971) A brief review of the epidemiology of various types of leishmaniasis in Iran. Acta Med Iran. 14(4): 99–106.

Nekouie H, Assmar M, Razavi MR, Naddaf SR (2006) A study on Leishmania in- fection rate among Phlebotomus spp. collected from Abardejh district, Iran. Iran J Vet R. 7(4): 77–81.

Oshaghi MA, Rasolian M, Shirzadi MR, Mohtarami F, Doosti S (2010) First re- port on isolation of Leishmania tropica from sand flies of a classical urban Cutaneous leishmaniasis focus in south- ern Iran. Exp Parasitol. 126(4): 445–450.

Oshaghi MA, Yaghobi-Ershadi MR, Abbassi M, Parvizi P, Akhavan AA, Rahimi Foroshani A, Zahraei AR, Rassi Y, Mohtarami F (2008) Detection of Leish- mania major in naturally infected sand flies using semi nested-PCR. Iranian J Publ Health. 37(4): 59–64.

Parvizi P, Taherkhani H, Ready PD (2010) Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phle- botomus mongolensis (Diptera: Psy- chodidae): indistinguishable by the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in Iran. Bull Entomol Res. 100(4): 415–420.

Parvizi P, Ready PD (2008) Nested PCRs and sequencing of nuclear ITS-rDNA fragments detect three Leishmania spe- cies of gerbils in sand flies from Ira- nian foci of zoonotic cutaneous leish- maniasis. Trop Med Int Health. 13(9):1159–1171.

Rassi Y, Oshaghi MA, Mohammadi Azani S,Abaie MR, Rafizadeh S, Mohebai M, Mohtarami F, Zeinali MK (2011) Mo- lecular detection of Leishmania in- fection due to Leishmania major and Leishmania turanica in the vectors and reservoir host in Iran. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Dis. 11(2): 145–150.

Rassi Y, Kaverizadeh F, Javadian E, Mohebali M (2004) First report on natural pro- mastigote infection of Phlebotomus caucasicus in a new focus of visceral leishmaniasis in north west of Iran. Iranian J Publ Health. 33(4): 70–72.

Ruiz Postigo JA (2010) Leishmaniasis in the World Health Organization Eastern Med- iterranean Region. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 36(1): 562–565.

Seyedi-Rashti MA, Nadim A (1967) Epide- miology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. B. Khorassan area, Part I: the res- ervoirs. Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 60(6):510–514.

Svobodova M, Votypka J, Peckova J, Dvorak V, Nasereddin A, Baneth G, Sztern J, Kravchenko V, Orr A, Meir D, Schnur LF, Volf P, Warburg A (2006) Distinct transmission cycles of Leishmania tro- pica in 2 adjacent foci, Northern Israel. Emerg Infect Dis. 12(12): 1860–1868.

Theodor O, Mesghali A (1964) On the Phle- botominae of Iran. J Med Entomol.1(4): 285–300.

Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR (2012) Phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Iran and theirrole on Leishmania Transmis- sion. J Arthropod-Borne Dis. 6(1): 1–17.

Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR, Hakimiparizi M, Zahraei-Ramazani AR, Abdoli H, Akhavan AA, Aghasi A, Arandian AA, Ranjbar AA (2010) Sand fly sur- veillance within an emerging epidemic focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in southeastern Iran. Iran J Arthropod- Borne Dis. 4(1): 17–23.

Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR, Akhavan A, Zahraei- Ramazani AR, Jalali-Zand AR, Piazak N (2005) Bionomics of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an endemic focus of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in central Iran. J Vect Ecol. 30(1): 115–118.

Yaghoobi-Ershadi MR, Javadian E, Tahvildare- Bidruni GH (1994) The isolation of Leishmania major from Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) caucasicus, in Is- fahan province, Islamic Republic of Iran. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg.88(5): 518–519.

IssueVol 7 No 2 (2013) QRcode
ITS-ribosomal DNA Iranian Sand fly Leishmania major Leishmania tropica

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Akhoundi M, Baghaei A, Depaquit J, Parvizi P. Molecular Characterization of Leishmania Infection from Naturally Infected Sand Flies Caught in a Focus of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (Eastern Iran). J Arthropod Borne Dis. 1;7(2):122-131.