Leishmania tropica in rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) in a focus of human cutaneous leishmaniasis

Dalit Talmi-Frank, Charles L. Jaffe, Abedelmajeed Nasereddin, Alon Warburg, Roni King, Milena Svobodova, Ofer Peleg, Gad Baneth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Cutaneous leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania tropica, has recently emerged in urban and rural foci of central and northern Israel, and constitutes a major public health concern. Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), the suspected natural reservoir, were trapped in the cutaneous leishmaniasis urban focus of Maale Adumim in central Israel and evaluated for L. tropica infection by real-time kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology. Real-time PCR on blood and computerized western blot serology analysis was positive for L. tropica in 58% and 80%, respectively, of the hyraxes tested. Phylogenetic analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 region indicated that similar genotypes were present in humans and hyraxes from the same habitat. The high rates of infection and exposure to L. tropica among hyraxes supports their involvement in the transmission cycle of this parasite, and their potential role as a reservoir for human disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)814-818
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


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