Distinct transmission cycles of Leishmania tropica in 2 adjacent foci, northern Israel

Milena Svobodova, Jan Votypka, Jitka Peckova, Vít Dvorak, Abedelmajeed Nasereddin, Gad Baneth, Julia Sztern, Vasiliy Kravchenko, Amnon Orr, David Meir, Lionel F. Schnur, Petr Volf, Alon Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Transmission of Leishmania tropica was studied in 2 adjacent foci in Israel where vector populations differ. Only Phlebotomus sergenti was found infected with L. tropica in the southern focus; P. arabicus was the main vector in the northern focus. Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) were incriminated as reservoir hosts in both foci. L. tropica strains from the northern focus isolated from sand flies, cutaneous leishmaniasis cases, and rock hyraxes were antigenically similar to L. major, and strains from the southern focus were typically L. tropica. Laboratory studies showed that P. arabicus is a competent vector of L. tropica, and P. sergenti is essentially refractory to L. tropica from the northern focus. Susceptibility of P. arabicus may be mediated by O glycoproteins on the luminal surface of its midgut. The 2 foci differ with respect to parasites and vectors, but increasing peridomestic rock hyrax populations are probably responsible for emergence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in both foci.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1860-1868
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


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