Visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis are common in some areas of Iran and consider as health problems. Phlebotomus alexandri has been incriminated as a suspected vector for the both form of leishmaniasis.
This study was carried out in 4 western provinces of Iran. Sand flies were collected using sticky traps and light traps from indoor and outdoor resting places. Nested PCR was employed to detect Leishmania parasites among collected sand flies.
Seven hundred and twenty two P. alexandri females were collected and pooled in 179 batches. Results of nested PCR showed, out of 9 samples from East Azerbaijan Province, only one sample was infected by Leishmania infantum. Of 34 individual and pooled samples from Kermanshah Province, only one pooled sample was infected with Leishmania major and among 30 individual and pooled samples in Fars Province, five specimens were infected by L. major, L. infantum, Leishmania donovani and Leishmania tropica. Furthermore, out of 108 individual and pooled samples from Khuzestan Province, 10 samples showed infection with L. major and L. infantum.
The results of this study showed that P. alexandri is more active in hot zones than in moderate zones and this species may be considered as a permissive species.
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