Nocturnal activities and host preferences of Phlebotomus orientalis in extra-domestic habitats of Kafta-Humera lowlands, Kala-azar endemic, Northwest Ethiopia

Wossenseged Lemma*, Habte Tekie, Ibrahim Abassi, Meshesha Balkew, Teshome Gebre-Michael, Alon Warburg, Asrat Hailu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Phlebotomus orientalis feeds on a variety of wild and domestic animals and transmits Leishmania donovani from hitherto unknown reservoir hosts to humans in extra-domestic habitats in the Metema - Humera lowlands. The aim of this study was to determine the nocturnal activities of P. orientalis and its preferred blood meal hosts. Methods: Collections of Phlebotomus orientalis were made by using CDC light traps to determine the density as P. orientalis/hour CDC trap and preference to rodents by using Turner's traps in agricultural fields, animal shelters and thickets of Acacia seyal in Baeker site-1 and Gelanzeraf site-2. The blood meal sources were detected by Reverse Line Blot (RLB) of cytochrome b polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification in August, 2012 from collections of sand flies in thickets of A. seyal (March 2011) and dense mixed forest (July 2011) in Baeker site 1. RLB PCR involved first amplification of animal specific sequences of cytochrome b using PCR techniques. Then the amplified sequence was hybridized with 11 species-specific probes for domestic animals adsorbed on nitrocellulose membrane for calorimetric color detection. Results: A total of 6,083 P. orientalis (2,702 males and 3,381 females) were collected at hourly intervals using 22 CDC traps from January to May 2013. The peak activities of P. orientalis were at 1.00 a.m (134.0-7.21) near animal shelters, 3.00 a.m (66.33 -46.40) in agricultural fields and 21:00 pm (40.6 -30.06) in thickets of A. seyal. This species was not attracted to the different species of rodents in trials carried out in March and April 2013. RLB PCR identified 7 human (28%), 9 mixed (human and cattle) (36%) and 2 cattle (8%) blood meals while 7 were unknown (28%). Conclusion: Female P. orientalis can bite humans in extra-domestic habitats of Kafta-Humera lowlands at any hour of the night with peak biting after midnight.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number594
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program [Grant number OPPGH5336] and Gondar University for funding this research. We would also thank Abel Haile, for technical assistance and for sand fly sampling, and Shewangizaw Sime (driver) and all who assisted us during our field activities in Metema Humera low lands. Our thanks also go to Tigray regional state and western Tigray zone administration for their unreserved co-operation during the execution of this research.

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program [Grant number OPPGH5336] and Gondar University for funding this research. We would also thank Abel Haile, for technical assistance and for sand fly sampling, and Shewangizaw Sime (driver) and all who assisted us during our field activities in Metema ? Humera low lands. Our thanks also go to Tigray regional state and western Tigray zone administration for their unreserved co-operation during the execution of this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Lemma et al.

Keywords

  • Extra-domestic habitats
  • Host preferences
  • Kafta Humera lowlands
  • Kala-azar
  • Nocturnal activities
  • Northwest Ethiopia
  • Phlebotomusm orientalis

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