ResearchPad - sand-flies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Kala-azar elimination in a highly-endemic district of Bihar, India: A success story]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14634 The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis (VL), commonly known as “Kala-azar,” as a public health problem in India by 2020. The elimination target is defined as achieving less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the block level. Although India has made substantial progress in the elimination of the disease since 2012, VL remains a stable public health problem in four middle-eastern states including Bihar. Bihar contributes >61% of the total Indian cases annually, and a few districts of the state have reported more than 600 cases annually. In this study, the results indicate that an intensive integrated VL control strategy including epidemiological analysis based on a geographical information system (GIS), hot-spot mapping, active case detection, vector control using the indoor residual spraying (IRS) of chemical insecticides, awareness campaigns, human resource development, the close monitoring of control activities, and active epidemiological surveillance and entomological monitoring can achieve the elimination target in the highly endemic region of Bihar. The elimination of VL from highly endemic zones is urgently required to control any new outbreak. Therefore, the implementation of the Vaishali VL control strategy is strongly recommended in all highly endemic districts of Bihar, India.

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<![CDATA[Identification of French Guiana sand flies using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with a new mass spectra library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df366d5eed0c48458120f

Phlebotomine sand flies are insects that are highly relevant in medicine, particularly as the sole proven vectors of leishmaniasis. Accurate identification of sand fly species is an essential prerequisite for eco-epidemiological studies aiming to better understand the disease. Traditional morphological identification is painstaking and time-consuming, and molecular methods for extensive screening remain expensive. Recent studies have shown that matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a promising tool for rapid and cost-effective identification of arthropod vectors, including sand flies. The aim of this study was to validate the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the identification of Northern Amazonian sand flies. We constituted a MALDI-TOF MS reference database comprising 29 species of sand flies that were field-collected in French Guiana, which are expected to cover many of the more common species of the Northern Amazonian region, including known vectors of leishmaniasis. Carrying out a blind test, all the sand flies tested (n = 157) with a log (score) threshold greater than 1.7 were correctly identified at the species level. We confirmed that MALDI-TOF MS protein profiling is a useful tool for the study of sand flies, including neotropical species, known for their great diversity. An application that includes the spectra generated here will be available to the scientific community in the near future via an online platform.

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<![CDATA[Detection of multiple circulating Leishmania species in Lutzomyia longipalpis in the city of Governador Valadares, southeastern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c63395bd5eed0c484ae6536

Leishmaniasis encompasses a group of diverse clinical diseases caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus. This disease is a major public health problem in the New World affecting people exposed in endemic regions. The city of Governador Valadares (Minas Gerais/Brazil) is a re-emerging area for visceral leishmaniasis, with 191 human cases reported from 2008 to 2017 and a lethality rate of 14.7%. The transmission of the parasite occurs intensely in this region with up to 22% of domestic dogs with positive serology for the visceral form. Lu. longipalpis is one of the most abundant sand fly species in this area. Despite this scenario, so far there is no information regarding the circulating Leishmania species in the insect vector Lutzomyia longipalpis in this focus. We collected 616 female Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies between January and September 2015 in the Vila Parque Ibituruna neighborhood (Governador Valadares/MG), which is located on a transitional area between the sylvatic and urban environments with residences built near a preserved area. After DNA extraction of individual sand flies, the natural Leishmania infections in Lu. longipalpis were detected by conventional PCR, using primers derived from kDNA sequences, specific for L. (Leishmania) or L. (Viannia) subgenus. The sensitivity of these PCR reactions was 0.1 pg of DNA for each Leishmania subgenus and the total infection rate of 16.2% (100 positive specimens). Species-specific PCR detected the presence of multiple Leishmania species in infected Lu. longipalpis specimens in Governador Valadares, including L. amazonensis (n = 3), L. infantum (n = 28), L. (Viannia) spp. (n = 20), coinfections with L. infantum and L. (Viannia) spp. (n = 5), and L. (Leishmania) spp (n = 44). Our results demonstrate that multiple Leishmania species circulate in Lu. longipalpis in Governador Valadares and reveal a potential increasing risk of transmission of the different circulating parasite species. This information reinforces the need for epidemiological and entomological surveillance in this endemic focus, and the development of effective control strategies against leishmaniasis.

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<![CDATA[Synthetic peptides as a novel approach for detecting antibodies against sand fly saliva]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a0ed5eed0c484a46de6

Background

Hosts repeatedly bitten by sand flies develop antibodies against sand fly saliva and screening of these immunoglobulins can be employed to estimate the risk of Leishmania transmission, to indicate the feeding preferences of sand flies, or to evaluate the effectiveness of vector control campaigns. Previously, antibodies to sand fly saliva were detected using whole salivary gland homogenate (SGH) or recombinant proteins, both of which also have their disadvantages. This is the first study on sand flies where short peptides designed based on salivary antigens were successfully utilized for antibody screening.

Methodology/Principal findings

Specific IgG was studied in hosts naturally exposed to Phlebotomus orientalis, the main vector of Leishmania donovani in East Africa. Four peptides were designed by the commercial program EpiQuest-B, based on the sequences of the two most promising salivary antigens, yellow-related protein and ParSP25-like protein. Short amino acid peptides were synthesised and modified for ELISA experiments. Specific anti-P. orientalis IgG was detected in sera of dogs, goats, and sheep from Ethiopia. The peptide OR24 P2 was shown to be suitable for antibody screening; it correlated positively with SGH and its specificity and sensitivity were comparable or even better than that of previously published recombinant proteins.

Conclusions/Significance

OR24 P2, the peptide based on salivary antigen of P. orientalis, was shown to be a valuable tool for antibody screening of domestic animals naturally exposed to P. orientalis. We suggest the application of this promising methodology using species-specific short peptides to other sand fly-host combinations.

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<![CDATA[Human antibody reaction against recombinant salivary proteins of Phlebotomus orientalis in Eastern Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028b4d5eed0c484247e0e

Background

Phlebotomus orientalis is a vector of Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of life threatening visceral leishmaniasis spread in Eastern Africa. During blood-feeding, sand fly females salivate into the skin of the host. Sand fly saliva contains a large variety of proteins, some of which elicit specific antibody responses in the bitten hosts. To evaluate the exposure to sand fly bites in human populations from disease endemic areas, we tested the antibody reactions of volunteers' sera against recombinant P. orientalis salivary antigens.

Methodology/Principal findings

Recombinant proteins derived from sequence data on P. orientalis secreted salivary proteins, were produced using either bacterial (five proteins) or mammalian (four proteins) expression systems and tested as antigens applicable for detection of anti-P. orientalis IgG in human sera. Using these recombinant proteins, human sera from Sudan and Ethiopia, countries endemic for visceral leishmaniasis, were screened by ELISA and immunoblotting to identify the potential markers of exposure to P. orientalis bites. Two recombinant proteins; mAG5 and mYEL1, were identified as the most promising antigens showing high correlation coefficients as well as good specificity in comparison to the whole sand fly salivary gland homogenate. Combination of both proteins led to a further increase of correlation coefficients as well as both positive and negative predictive values of P. orientalis exposure.

Conclusions/Significance

This is the first report of screening human sera for anti-P. orientalis antibodies using recombinant salivary proteins. The recombinant salivary proteins mYEL1 and mAG5 proved to be valid antigens for screening human sera from both Sudan and Ethiopia for exposure to P. orientalis bites. The utilization of equal amounts of these two proteins significantly increased the capability to detect anti-P. orientalis antibody responses.

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<![CDATA[Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) reveals host-related population structure in Leishmania infantum from northeastern Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a19d4463d7e428027f8e9

Background

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania infantum is an ongoing health problem in southern Europe, where dogs are considered the main reservoirs of the disease. Current data point to a northward spread of VL and canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Italy, with new foci in northern regions previously regarded as non-endemic.

Methodology/Principal findings

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) was performed to investigate genetic diversity and population structure of L. infantum on 55 samples from infected humans, dogs and sand flies of the E-R region between 2013 and 2017. E-R samples were compared with 10 L. infantum samples from VL cases in other Italian regions (extra E-R) and with 52 strains within the L. donovani complex. Data displayed significant microsatellite polymorphisms with low allelic heterozygosity. Forty-one unique and eight repeated MLMT profiles were recognized among the L. infantum samples from E-R, and ten unique MLMT profiles were assigned to the extra E-R samples. Bayesian analysis assigned E-R samples to two distinct populations, with further sub-structuring within each of them; all CanL samples belonged to one population, genetically related to Mediterranean MON-1 strains, while all but one VL cases as well as the isolate from the sand fly Phlebotomus perfiliewi fell under the second population. Conversely, VL samples from other Italian regions proved to be genetically similar to strains circulating in dogs.

Conclusions/Significance

A peculiar epidemiological situation was observed in northeastern Italy, with the co-circulation of two distinct populations of L. infantum; one population mainly detected in dogs and the other population detected in humans and in a sand fly. While the classical cycle of CanL in Italy fits well into the data obtained for the first population, the population found in infected humans exhibits a different cycle, probably not involving a canine reservoir. This study can contribute to a better understanding of the population structure of L. infantum circulating in northeastern Italy, thus providing useful epidemiologic information for public health authorities.

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<![CDATA[The small non-coding RNA response to virus infection in the Leishmania vector Lutzomyia longipalpis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b5d9463d7e1340e24745

Sandflies are well known vectors for Leishmania but also transmit a number of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). Few studies have addressed the interaction between sandflies and arboviruses. RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms utilize small non-coding RNAs to regulate different aspects of host-pathogen interactions. The small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway is a broad antiviral mechanism in insects. In addition, at least in mosquitoes, another RNAi mechanism mediated by PIWI interacting RNAs (piRNAs) is activated by viral infection. Finally, endogenous microRNAs (miRNA) may also regulate host immune responses. Here, we analyzed the small non-coding RNA response to Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection in the sandfly Lutzoymia longipalpis. We detected abundant production of virus-derived siRNAs after VSV infection in adult sandflies. However, there was no production of virus-derived piRNAs and only mild changes in the expression of vector miRNAs in response to infection. We also observed abundant production of virus-derived siRNAs against two other viruses in Lutzomyia Lulo cells. Together, our results suggest that the siRNA but not the piRNA pathway mediates an antiviral response in sandflies. In agreement with this hypothesis, pre-treatment of cells with dsRNA against VSV was able to inhibit viral replication while knock-down of the central siRNA component, Argonaute-2, led to increased virus levels. Our work begins to elucidate the role of RNAi mechanisms in the interaction between L. longipalpis and viruses and should also open the way for studies with other sandfly-borne pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Concomitant Immunity Induced by Persistent Leishmania major Does Not Preclude Secondary Re-Infection: Implications for Genetic Exchange, Diversity and Vaccination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbbd69

Background

Many microbes have evolved the ability to co-exist for long periods of time within other species in the absence of overt pathology. Evolutionary biologists have proposed benefits to the microbe from ‘asymptomatic persistent infections’, most commonly invoking increased likelihood of transmission by longer-lived hosts. Typically asymptomatic persistent infections arise from strong containment by the immune system, accompanied by protective immunity; such ‘vaccination’ from overt disease in the presence of a non-sterilizing immune response is termed premunition or concomitant immunity. Here we consider another potential benefit of persistence and concomitant immunity to the parasite: the ‘exclusion’ of competing super-infecting strains, which would favor transmission of the original infecting organism.

Methodology / Principle Findings

To investigate this in the protozoan parasite Leishmania major, a superb model for the study of asymptomatic persistence, we used isogenic lines of comparable virulence bearing independent selectable markers. One was then used to infect genetically resistant mice, yielding infections which healed and progressed to asymptomatic persistent infection; these mice were then super-infected with the second marked line. As anticipated, super-infection yielded minimal pathology, showing that protective immunity against disease pathology had been established. The relative abundance of the primary and super-infecting secondary parasites was then assessed by plating on selective media. The data show clearly that super-infecting parasites were able to colonize the immune host effectively, achieving numbers comparable to and sometimes greater than that of the primary parasite.

Conclusions / Significance

We conclude that induction of protective immunity does not guarantee the Leishmania parasite exclusive occupation of the infected host. This finding has important consequences to the maintenance and generation of parasite diversity in the natural Leishmania infectious cycle alternating between mammalian and sand fly hosts.

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<![CDATA[Distribution and Dispersal of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in a Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Focus, the Northern Negev, Israel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83e9a

Background

Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis has long been endemic in Israel. In recent years reported incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis increased and endemic transmission is being observed in a growing number of communities in regions previously considered free of the disease. Here we report the results of an intensive sand fly study carried out in a new endemic focus of Leishmania major. The main objective was to establish a method and to generate a data set to determine the exposure risk, sand fly populations' dynamics and evaluate the efficacy of an attempt to create "cordon sanitaire" devoid of active jird burrows around the residential area.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Sand flies were trapped in three fixed reference sites and an additional 52 varying sites. To mark sand flies in the field, sugar solutions containing different food dyes were sprayed on vegetation in five sites. The catch was counted, identified, Leishmania DNA was detected in pooled female samples and the presence of marked specimens was noted. Phlebotomus papatasi, the vector of L. major in the region was the sole Phlebotomus species in the catch. Leishmania major DNA was detected in ~10% of the pooled samples and the highest risk of transmission was in September. Only a few specimens were collected in the residential area while sand fly numbers often exceeded 1,000 per catch in the agricultural fields. The maximal travel distance recorded was 1.91km for females and 1.51km for males. The calculated mean distance traveled (MDT) was 0.75km.

Conclusions

The overall results indicate the presence of dense and mobile sand fly populations in the study area. There seem to be numerous scattered sand fly microsites suitable for development and resting in the agricultural fields. Sand flies apparently moved in all directions, and reached the residential area from the surrounding agricultural fields. The travel distance noted in the current work, supported previous findings that P. papatasi like P. ariasi, can have a relatively long flight range and does not always stay near breeding sites. Following the results, the width of the "cordon sanitaire" in which actions against the reservoir rodents were planned, was extended into the depth of the agricultural fields.

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<![CDATA[Recombinant Salivary Proteins of Phlebotomus orientalis are Suitable Antigens to Measure Exposure of Domestic Animals to Sand Fly Bites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf1ab0ee8fa60bc1441

Background

Certain salivary proteins of phlebotomine sand flies injected into the host skin during blood-feeding are highly antigenic and elicit strong antibody-mediated immune responses in repeatedly-exposed hosts. These antibodies can be measured by enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assays (ELISAs) using salivary gland homogenates (SGHs) as the source of antigens and serve as a markers for exposure to biting sand flies. Large-scale screening for anti-sand fly saliva antibodies requires replacement of SGH with recombinant salivary proteins. In East Africa, Phlebotomus orientalis is the main vector of Leishmania donovani, a trypanosomatid parasite causing visceral leishmaniasis. We tested recombinant salivary proteins derived from Ph. orientalis saliva to study exposure of domestic animals to this sand fly species.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Antigenic salivary proteins from Ph. orientalis were identified by immunoblot and mass spectrometry. Recombinant apyrase rPorSP15, yellow-related protein rPorSP24, ParSP25-like protein rPorSP65, D7-related protein rPorSP67, and antigen 5-related protein rPorSP76 were tested using ELISA with sera of domestic animals from L. donovani foci in Ethiopia where Ph. orientalis is present. Our results highlighted recombinant yellow-related protein rPorSP24 as the most promising antigen, displaying a high positive correlation coefficient as well as good sensitivity and specificity when compared to SGH. This recombinant protein was the most suitable one for testing sera of dogs, sheep, and goats. In addition, a different antigen, rPorSP65 was found efficacious for testing canine sera.

Conclusions/Significance

Recombinant salivary proteins of Ph. orientalis, specifically rPorSP24, were shown to successfully substitute SGH in serological experiments to measure exposure of domestic animals to Ph. orientalis, the vector of L. donovani. The results suggest that rPorSP24 might be a suitable antigen for detecting anti-Ph. orientalis antibody-mediated reactions also in other host species.

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<![CDATA[An integrated overview of the midgut bacterial flora composition of Phlebotomus perniciosus, a vector of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in the Western Mediterranean Basin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcde0

Background

The Leishmania developmental life cycle within its sand fly vector occurs exclusively in the lumen of the insect’s digestive tract in the presence of symbiotic bacteria. The composition of the gut microbiota and the factors that influence its composition are currently poorly understood. A set of factors, including the host and its environment, may influence this composition. It has been demonstrated that the insect gut microbiota influences the development of several human pathogens, such as Plasmodium falciparum. For sand flies and Leishmania, understanding the interactions between the parasite and the microbial environment of the vector midgut can provide new tools to control Leishmania transmission.

Methodology/Principal findings

The midguts of female Phlebotomus perniciosus from laboratory colonies or from the field were collected during the months of July, September and October 2011 and dissected. The midguts were analyzed by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. A total of 441 and 115 cultivable isolates were assigned to 30 and 11 phylotypes from field-collected and colonized P. perniciosus, respectively. Analysis of monthly variations in microbiota composition shows a species diversity decline in October, which is to the end of the Leishmania infantum transmission period. In parallel, a compilation and a meta-analysis of all available data concerning the microbiota of two Psychodidae genera, namely Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia, was performed and compared to P. perniciosus, data obtained herein. This integrated analysis did not reveal any substantial divergences between Old and New world sand flies with regards to the midgut bacterial phyla and genera diversity. But clearly, most bacterial species (>76%) are sparsely distributed between Phlebotominae species.

Conclusion/Significance

Our results pinpoint the need for a more exhaustive understanding of the bacterial richness and abundance at the species level in Phlebotominae sand flies in order to capture the role of midgut bacteria during Leishmania development and transmission. The occurrence of Bacillus subtilis in P. perniciosus and at least two other sand fly species studied so far suggests that this bacterial species is a potential candidate for paratransgenic or biolological approaches for the control of sand fly populations in order to prevent Leishmania transmission.

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<![CDATA[Studies on sand fly fauna and ecological analysis of Phlebotomus orientalis in the highland and lowland foci of kala-azar in northwestern Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc508

Background

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) also known as kala-azar is a growing health problem in Ethiopia with an estimated annual VL incidence between 3700 and 7400. The disease is mainly endemic in northwestern parts of the country. The aim of the current study was to determine the sand fly fauna and ecology of Phlebotomus orientalis in two endemic and ecologically distinct areas of northwestern Ethiopia.

Methods

Sand flies were collected using CDC light traps, sticky traps and pyrethrum spray catches from peri-domestic, mixed forest, farm field and indoor habitats from both Libo-Kemkem (May 2011-April 2012) and Metema (October 2012-September 2013) districts.

Results

A total of 51,411 sand fly specimens were collected and identified (10,776 from highland and 40, 635 from the lowland areas). Seven species were found in the highland area: two Phlebotomus spp. (P. orientalis and P. rodhaini) and five Sergentomyia species. Whereas 19 species were found in the lowland area: six Phlebotomus (P. orientalis, P. rodhaini, P. bergeroti, P. duboscqi, P. papatasi and P. martini) and 13 Sergentomyia species. Of the Phlebotomus spp., P. orientalis was the predominant species in both the highland (99.9%) and lowland (93.7%) areas. Indoor collections using pyrethrum spray catches and sticky traps indicated that P. orientalis has a strong exophilic and exophagic behaviors in both districts. In both areas, this species showed seasonal occurrence and showing abundance during the dry months (March-May/June) of the year and increasing in numbers till the rain season, when numbers dropped dramatically. Mean density of P. orientalis in the two areas had positive and significant correlation with mean temperature in light trap collections (P<0.05). However, mean density of P. orientalis in the two areas in sticky trap collections had positive and insignificant association with the temperature (P>0.05). Regarding the rainfall pattern, density of P. orientalis had negative and statistically insignificant correlation (for light trap collections for both areas) and significant correlation (for sticky trap collections for lowland area).

Conclusions

The current study indicated the variation in sand fly fauna between the highland and lowland districts, wherein, P. orientalis was found to be the most abundant Phlebotomus species. The study also determined that P. orientalis exhibits distinct seasonality, where its abundance increases during the dry season and disappears when the rainy period starts in both study areas. This entomological observation on the bionomics of P. orientalis provides significant evidence for considering vector control or preventive measures in the areas studied.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy, Safety and Cost of Insecticide Treated Wall Lining, Insecticide Treated Bed Nets and Indoor Wall Wash with Lime for Visceral Leishmaniasis Vector Control in the Indian Sub-continent: A Multi-country Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4aab0ee8fa60bd9e33

Background

We investigated the efficacy, safety and cost of lime wash of household walls plus treatment of sand fly breeding places with bleach (i.e. environmental management or EM), insecticide impregnated durable wall lining (DWL), and bed net impregnation with slow release insecticide (ITN) for sand fly control in the Indian sub-continent.

Methods

This multi-country cluster randomized controlled trial had 24 clusters in each three sites with eight clusters per high, medium or low sand fly density stratum. Every cluster included 45–50 households. Five households from each cluster were randomly selected for entomological measurements including sand fly density and mortality at one, three, nine and twelve months post intervention. Household interviews were conducted for socioeconomic information and intervention acceptability assessment. Cost for each intervention was calculated. There was a control group without intervention.

Findings

Sand fly mortality [mean and 95%CI] ranged from 84% (81%-87%) at one month to 74% (71%-78%) at 12 months for DWL, 75% (71%-79%) at one month to 49% (43%-55%) at twelve months for ITN, and 44% (34%-53%) at one month to 22% (14%-29%) at twelve months for EM. Adjusted intervention effect on sand fly density measured by incidence rate ratio ranged from 0.28 (0.23–0.34) at one month to 0.62 (0.51–0.75) at 12 months for DWL; 0.72 (0.62–0.85) at one month to 1.02 (0.86–1.22) at 12 months for ITN; and 0.89 (0.76–1.03) at one months to 1.49 (1.26–1.74) at 12 months for EM. Household acceptance of EM was 74% compared to 94% for both DWL and ITN. Operational cost per household in USD was about 5, 8, and 2 for EM, DWL and ITN, respectively. Minimal adverse reactions were reported for EM and ITN while 36% of households with DWL reported transient itching.

Interpretation

DWL is the most effective, durable and acceptable control method followed by ITN. The Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) Elimination Program in the Indian sub-continent should consider DWL and ITN for sand fly control in addition to IRS.

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<![CDATA[Field Evaluation of Two Different Treatment Approaches and Their Ability to Control Fleas and Prevent Canine Leishmaniosis in a Highly Endemic Area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfe17

This study investigated the efficacy of two collars for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations. Additionally the effect of these collars on the incidence of Leishmania infantum infection as compared with a group of vaccinated dogs was evaluated. A total of 224 young dogs from private animal shelters were enrolled in April/May into four groups: G1, 55 dogs treated with 10% imidacloprid + 4.5% flumethrin collar (Seresto, Bayer Animal Health); G2, 60 dogs treated with 4% deltamethrin collar (Scalibor protector band, MSD Animal Health); G3, 54 dogs vaccinated with CaniLeish (Virbac Animal Health); and G4, 55 dogs left non-treated as controls. Dogs were followed up at days 120 (September), 210 (December), and 360 (April-May). At those time points, clinical assessments, ectoparasite counts and blood, bone marrow and skin samples, to detect the presence of L. infantum, were performed. The efficacy of Seresto in protecting dogs from flea infestation was 100% (P < 0.01) on day 120 and 210, while animals treated with Scalibor showed a prevalence of the infestation ranging from 23.3% to 33.3% on day 120 and 210, respectively. At the end of the study, the incidence of L. infantum infection in collared dogs—based on animals being positive in any of the tests—was 5.5% in Seresto-treated dogs and 20% in Scalibor-treated dogs, resulting in overall efficacy of prevention of 88.3% for Seresto and 61.8% for Scalibor. No statistical difference was detected in L. infantum positive dogs for bone marrow PCR and/or cytology at day 360 between the CaniLeish (15.4%) and non-treated control dogs (10.0%). Both collars proved to be effective (P < 0.01) in preventing L. infantum infection throughout one transmission season, whereas no significant difference was recorded in the frequency of active infections between dogs vaccinated with CaniLeish and control dogs, emphasizing the importance of using repellent/insecticide actives as a priority measure for protection against canine leishmaniosis.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Leishmania infantum from Southeastern France: Evaluation Using Multi-Locus Microsatellite Typing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da98ab0ee8fa60ba2c1d

In the south of France, Leishmania infantum is responsible for numerous cases of canine leishmaniasis (CanL), sporadic cases of human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and rare cases of cutaneous and muco-cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL and MCL, respectively). Several endemic areas have been clearly identified in the south of France including the Pyrénées-Orientales, Cévennes (CE), Provence (P), Alpes-Maritimes (AM) and Corsica (CO). Within these endemic areas, the two cities of Nice (AM) and Marseille (P), which are located 150 km apart, and their surroundings, concentrate the greatest number of French autochthonous leishmaniasis cases. In this study, 270 L. infantum isolates from an extended time period (1978–2011) from four endemic areas, AM, P, CE and CO, were assessed using Multi-Locus Microsatellite Typing (MLMT). MLMT revealed a total of 121 different genotypes with 91 unique genotypes and 30 repeated genotypes. Substantial genetic diversity was found with a strong genetic differentiation between the Leishmania populations from AM and P. However, exchanges were observed between these two endemic areas in which it seems that strains spread from AM to P. The genetic differentiations in these areas suggest strong epidemiological structuring. A model-based analysis using STRUCTURE revealed two main populations: population A (consisting of samples primarily from the P and AM endemic areas with MON-1 and non-MON-1 strains) and population B consisting of only MON-1 strains essentially from the AM endemic area. For four patients, we observed several isolates from different biological samples which provided insight into disease relapse and re-infection. These findings shed light on the transmission dynamics of parasites in humans. However, further data are required to confirm this hypothesis based on a limited sample set. This study represents the most extensive population analysis of L. infantum strains using MLMT conducted in France.

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<![CDATA[Experimental infection and transmission of Leishmania by Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae): Aspects of the ecology of parasite-vector interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdce1e

Several parameters should be addressed before incriminating a vector for Leishmania transmission. Those may include its ability to become infected by the same Leishmania species found in humans, the degree of attractiveness for reservoirs and humans and capacity to sustain parasite infection under laboratory conditions. This study evaluated the vectorial capacity of Lutzomyia cruzi for Leishmania infantum and gathered information on its ability to harbor L. amazonensis. Laboratory-reared Lu. cruzi were infected experimentally by feeding them on dogs infected naturally with L. infantum and hamsters infected with L. amazonensis. Sand fly attractiveness to dogs and humans was determined using wild caught insects. The expected daily survival of infected Lu. cruzi, the duration of the gonotrophic cycle, and the extrinsic incubation period were also investigated for both parasites. Vector competence was investigated for both Leishmania species. The mean proportion of female sand flies that fed on hosts was 0.40. For L. infantum and L. amazonensis, Lu. cruzi had experimental infection rates of 10.55% and 41.56%, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period was 3 days for both Leishmania species, regardless of the host. Survival expectancy of females infected with L. infantum and L. amazonensis after completing the gonotrophic cycle was 1.32 and 0.43, respectively. There was no association between L. infantum infection and sand fly longevity, but L. amazonensis–infected flies had significantly greater survival probabilities. Furthermore, egg-laying was significantly detrimental to survival. Lu. cruzi was found to be highly attracted to both dogs and humans. After a bloodmeal on experimentally infected hosts, both parasites were able to survive and develop late-stage infections in Lu. cruzi. However, transmission was demonstrated only for L. amazonensis–infected sand flies. In conclusion, Lu. cruzi fulfilled several of the requirements of vectorial capacity for L. infantum transmission. Moreover, it was also permissive to L. amazonensis.

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<![CDATA[Seroprevalence of Sandfly‐Borne Phleboviruses Belonging to Three Serocomplexes (Sandfly fever Naples, Sandfly fever Sicilian and Salehabad) in Dogs from Greece and Cyprus Using Neutralization Test]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a2cb

Phleboviruses transmitted by sandflies are endemic in the Mediterranean area. The last decade has witnessed the description of an accumulating number of novel viruses. Although, the risk of exposure of vertebrates is globally assessed, detailed geographic knowledge is poor even in Greece and Cyprus where sandfly fever has been recognized for a long time and repeatedly. A total of 1,250 dogs from mainland Greece and Greek archipelago on one hand and 422 dogs from Cyprus on the other hand have been sampled and tested for neutralising antibodies against Toscana virus (TOSV), Sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV), Arbia virus, and Adana virus i.e. four viruses belonging to the 3 sandfly-borne serocomplexes known to circulate actively in the Mediterranean area. Our results showed that (i) SFSV is highly prevalent with 71.9% (50.7–84.9% depending on the region) in Greece and 60.2% (40.0–72.6%) in Cyprus; (ii) TOSV ranked second with 4.4% (0–15.4%) in Greece and 8.4% (0–11.4%) in Cyprus; (iii) Salehabad viruses (Arbia and Adana) displayed also substantial prevalence rates in both countries with values ranging from 0–22.6% depending on the region and on the virus strain used in the test. These results demonstrate that circulation of viruses transmitted by sand flies can be estimated qualitatively using dog sera. As reported in other regions of the Mediterranean, these results indicate that it is time to shift these viruses from the "neglected" status to the "priority" status in order to stimulate studies aiming at defining and quantifying their medical and veterinary importance and possible public health impact. Specifically, viruses belonging to the Sandfly fever Sicilian complex should be given careful consideration. This calls for implementation of direct and indirect diagnosis in National reference centers and in hospital microbiology laboratories and systematic testing of unelucidated febrile illness and central and peripheral nervous system febrile manifestations.

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<![CDATA[Transmission Dynamics of Visceral Leishmaniasis in the Indian Subcontinent – A Systematic Literature Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da46ab0ee8fa60b8beff

Background

As Bangladesh, India and Nepal progress towards visceral leishmaniasis (VL) elimination, it is important to understand the role of asymptomatic Leishmania infection (ALI), VL treatment relapse and post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) in transmission.

Methodology/ Principal Finding

We reviewed evidence systematically on ALI, relapse and PKDL. We searched multiple databases to include studies on burden, risk factors, biomarkers, natural history, and infectiveness of ALI, PKDL and relapse. After screening 292 papers, 98 were included covering the years 1942 through 2016. ALI, PKDL and relapse studies lacked a reference standard and appropriate biomarker. The prevalence of ALI was 4–17-fold that of VL. The risk of ALI was higher in VL case contacts. Most infections remained asymptomatic or resolved spontaneously. The proportion of ALI that progressed to VL disease within a year was 1.5–23%, and was higher amongst those with high antibody titres. The natural history of PKDL showed variability; 3.8–28.6% had no past history of VL treatment. The infectiveness of PKDL was 32–53%. The risk of VL relapse was higher with HIV co-infection. Modelling studies predicted a range of scenarios. One model predicted VL elimination was unlikely in the long term with early diagnosis. Another model estimated that ALI contributed to 82% of the overall transmission, VL to 10% and PKDL to 8%. Another model predicted that VL cases were the main driver for transmission. Different models predicted VL elimination if the sandfly density was reduced by 67% by killing the sandfly or by 79% by reducing their breeding sites, or with 4–6y of optimal IRS or 10y of sub-optimal IRS and only in low endemic setting.

Conclusion/ Significance

There is a need for xenodiagnostic and longitudinal studies to understand the potential of ALI and PKDL as reservoirs of infection.

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<![CDATA[The Diversity of Yellow-Related Proteins in Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba92e9

Yellow-related proteins (YRPs) present in sand fly saliva act as affinity binders of bioamines, and help the fly to complete a bloodmeal by scavenging the physiological signals of damaged cells. They are also the main antigens in sand fly saliva and their recombinant form is used as a marker of host exposure to sand flies. Moreover, several salivary proteins and plasmids coding these proteins induce strong immune response in hosts bitten by sand flies and are being used to design protecting vaccines against Leishmania parasites. In this study, thirty two 3D models of different yellow-related proteins from thirteen sand fly species of two genera were constructed based on the known protein structure from Lutzomyia longipalpis. We also studied evolutionary relationships among species based on protein sequences as well as sequence and structural variability of their ligand-binding site. All of these 33 sand fly YRPs shared a similar structure, including a unique tunnel that connects the ligand-binding site with the solvent by two independent paths. However, intraspecific modifications found among these proteins affects the charges of the entrances to the tunnel, the length of the tunnel and its hydrophobicity. We suggest that these structural and sequential differences influence the ligand-binding abilities of these proteins and provide sand flies with a greater number of YRP paralogs with more nuanced answers to bioamines. All these characteristics allow us to better evaluate these proteins with respect to their potential use as part of anti-Leishmania vaccines or as an antigen to measure host exposure to sand flies.

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<![CDATA[Carrion’s Disease: More Than a Sand Fly–Vectored Illness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae6ab0ee8fa60bbd87e ]]>