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A molecular analysis of the subgenus Transphlebotomus Artemiev, 1984 (Phlebotomus, Diptera, Psychodidae) inferred from ND4 mtDNA with new northern records of Phlebotomus mascittii Grassi, 1908

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A comparative molecular study was performed on the three species of Phlebotomine sandflies belonging to the subgenus Transphlebotomus Artemiev whose morphological differentiation is difficult. All three species have been suspected, but never proven, to be vectors of Leishmania infantum. The ND4 gene from mtDNA was sequenced from specimens of five populations of Phlebotomus mascittii Grassi from Belgium (the first records of Phlebotomine sandflies from this country), France, and Germany. Additionally, specimens from one population of Lebanese P. canaaniticus Adler and Theodor and of one population of Cypriot P. economidesi Léger, Depaquit and Ferté topotypes were examined. The results reveal the validity of the three taxa inferred from molecular variation and a molecular homogeneity shared by all of the populations of P. mascittii included into the present study. The epidemiological consequences are discussed.

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The authors wish to thank M. Boutry and C. Grimplet for their technical help; N. Haddad and S. Perrotey provided us with the P. canaaniticus specimens and M. Kaltenbach for reading the manuscript. All experiments complied with the current laws of the countries in which they were performed.

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Correspondence to Jérôme Depaquit.

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Depaquit, J., Naucke, T.J., Schmitt, C. et al. A molecular analysis of the subgenus Transphlebotomus Artemiev, 1984 (Phlebotomus, Diptera, Psychodidae) inferred from ND4 mtDNA with new northern records of Phlebotomus mascittii Grassi, 1908. Parasitol Res 95, 113–116 (2005).

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