Seasonal abundance patterns of the sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi in climatically distinct foci of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Israeli deserts

G. Wasserberg, I. Yarom, A. Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Among foci of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Israel, population densities of the vector sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli (Diptera: Psychodidae) were assessed during April-October 1999 in the mesic Negev desert and the hyperxeric Arava valley, using sticky traps placed overnight near host burrows of the fat sand rat, Psammomys obesus Cretzschmar (Cricetidae: Gerbillinae). Population dynamics of Ph. papatasi differed between the Negev (study sites on sand near Mount Keren and on loess at Nizzana ruins) and the Arava valley (study sites on sand at Shezaf and in a fallow field near irrigation at wadi Arava). At the Negev sites, sandfly abundance peaked in spring (April or May), whereas at Arava sites Ph. papatasi population densities were bi-modal, with peaks in both spring and autumn (September or October). This might be conducive to sustaining enzootic Leishmania major Yakimoff & Schokhor (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae). In both areas, Ph. papatasi densities were much higher at the site with moister soil, raising transmission risks of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)452-456
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

Keywords

  • Arava Valley
  • Arid climate
  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Desert
  • Israel
  • Negev
  • Phlebotomus papatasi
  • Population dynamics
  • Psammomys obesus
  • Sandfly abundance
  • Soil moisture

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