Phlebotomus papatasi is the sandfly vector of Leishmania major in the Jordan Valley. The objective of this study was to characterize vector-parasite relations in an active zoonotic focus. Seasonality and intensity of promastigote infection rates in female sandflies and the developmental stage of these hosts were established. On 153 trap-nights, 641 female P. papatasi were caught and examined. Of these, 48 (7.4%, range 12.9-4.8%) were infected with L. major promastigotes. Correlating the number of parasites with the gonotrophic age of the vector revealed that most infections initially are light ones, and those that survive in the vector generally prosper and proliferate. Comparing infection rates in parous and gravid flies revealed that similar proportions of gravid and parous flies are found infected. Thus, Leishmania infections do not appear to affect sandfly survival.