Background: Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), is most probably vectored by Phlebotomus orientalis in north-western Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the nocturnal activity patterns of Ph. orientalis in VL endemic foci of Libo-Kemkem (highland) and Metema (lowland) districts of north-western Ethiopia. Methods: Sampling of sand flies was conducted bimonthly from January-May 2012 in the highland and from March-June 2013 in the lowland. Sand flies were sampled using two CDC light traps placed in compounds occupied by both cattle and humans. Sampling of sand flies started at 18:00 h and ended at 06:00 h. Every hour, a cage was replaced by another cage. Results: In total, 9479 nocturnally active sand flies were collected from both study areas. Six Phlebotomus species (Ph. orientalis, Ph. duboscqi, Ph. papatasi, Ph. bergeroti, Ph. rodhaini and Ph. martini) and several Sergentomyia spp. were identified. In both areas, of the six Phlebotomus spp., Ph. orientalis was the preponderate. In the highland, the hourly activity pattern of Ph. orientalis females was higher before midnight with a peak in density between 22:00-23:00 h, whereas in the lowland after midnight between 03:00-04:00 h. Conclusions: The present study showed that Ph. orientalis females exhibited different nocturnal activity patterns with a peak in the early part of the night in the highland and in the latter part of the night in the lowland areas. As the risk of acquiring L. donovani infections vary in the two areas, appropriate control strategies should be developed according to the activity of Ph. orientalis in the respective areas.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program (grant number OPPGH5336) provided financial support.
© 2017 The Author(s).
- Nocturnal activity
- North-western Ethiopia
- Phlebotomus orientalis
- Visceral leishmaniasis