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Distribution of sandfly species in relation to canine leishmaniasis from the Ebro Valley to Valencia, northeastern Spain

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In Spain, only two of the 12 recorded species of sandflies, Phlebotomus (Larroussius) ariasi Tonnoir and P. (L.) perniciosus Newstead, are proven vectors of Leishmania infantum Nicolle, the causative agent of endemic leishmaniasis. Studies of the distributions of phlebotomine sandflies are important for evaluating the possible effects of climate warming on any northward or altitudinal range shifts of leishmaniasis or the other diseases they transmit. We describe a recent sandfly survey in Spain, starting in the northern Ebro Valley and continuing southeast into the Levante region of the Mediterranean coast. Sandflies (P. ariasi only) were found for the first time in the northern province of Alava, in the upper Ebro Valley, where cases of canine leishmaniasis have been described during the last decade. Throughout the provinces sampled, P. ariasi predominated over P. perniciosus in cooler bioclimatic zones, and this statistically significant pattern was more marked than that with higher altitudes.

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The authors thank Antonio Sarrión and Angel Emilio Martínez De Alba for field assistance. A.M.A. was a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from The Basque Government. Field collections were assisted by an Acción Integrada grant (MECD-British Council, Madrid) to P.D.R and F.M.M.

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Correspondence to Paul D. Ready.

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Aransay, A.M., Testa, J.M., Morillas-Marquez, F. et al. Distribution of sandfly species in relation to canine leishmaniasis from the Ebro Valley to Valencia, northeastern Spain. Parasitol Res 94, 416–420 (2004).

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