First molecular detection of Leishmania tarentolae-like DNA in Sergentomyia minuta in Spain
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Phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera, Psychodidae) are vectors of multiple Leishmania species, among which Leishmania infantum stands out as a being frequently pathogenic to humans and dogs in Mediterranean countries. In this study, Sergentomyia minuta sand flies were collected using CDC miniature light traps in different 431 biotopes from Southwest Spain. A total of 114 females were tested for the presence of Leishmania DNA by targeting ITS-1 and cyt-B sequences by PCR. Leishmania DNA was detected in one S. minuta. Characterization of the obtained DNA sequences by phylogenetic analyses revealed close relatedness with Leishmania tarentolae Wenyon, 1921 as well as with both human and canine pathogenic strains of Asian origin (China), previously described as Leishmania sp. To our knowledge, this is the first report of phlebotomine sand flies naturally infected with L. tarentolae-like in Spain. The possible infection of sand flies with novel Leishmania species should be taken into consideration in epidemiological studies of vector species in areas where leishmaniosis is endemic.
KeywordsLeishmania tarentolae-like Sergentomyia minuta Phlebotomine sand flies Vectors Southwest Spain
The authors acknowledge Prof. J. Votypka (Charles University, Czech Republic) for kindly providing a DNA extract of Leishmania tarentolae Wenyon, 1921.
This work was funded through the research project (IB10044) of the “Consejería de Economía, Comercio e Innovación” of the Extremadura regional Government (Spain).
DBB holds a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain (FPU grant AP2010-5854) and CM holds a scholarship from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Ministério da Educação e Ciência, Portugal (SFRH/BPD/44082/2008).
Work done during the stay in the Global Health and Tropical Medicine in Lisbon, funded by Banco Santander, SA through program “Becas Iberoamérica. Jóvenes Profesores e Investigadores. Santander Universidades 2014”.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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