NP Neusiedlersee Seewinkel
Nationalparks Austria NPA
Eintrag Nr. 39580
Could Phlebotomus mascittii play a role as a natural vector for Leishmania infantum?
Entomologie Nationalpark Neusiedler See - Seewinkel
Adelheid G. Obwaller, Mehmet Karakus, Wolfgang Poeppl, Seray Töz, Yusuf Özbel, Horst Aspöck & Julia Walochnik
Obwaller et al. Parasites & Vectors (2016) 9:458 DOI 10.1186/s13071-016-1750-8 Abstract Background: The occurrence of phlebotomine sand flies in Central Europe was questioned until they were recorded for the first time in Germany in 1999, and ten years later also in Austria. The aim of this study was to investigate sand flies collected in Austria for their carrier status of Leishmania spp. Findings: From 2012 to 2013 field studies were conducted in eastern Austria. Altogether, 22 individuals of sand flies were found, all morphologically identified as Phlebotomus (Transphlebotomus) mascittii Grassi, 1908. Twelve non-engorged female specimens with no visible remnants of a blood meal in their bodies were individually investigated for Leishmania spp. by ITS-1 real-time PCR. One out of these was positive for Leishmania, identified as Leishmania infantum by DNA sequencing. This finding suggests that L. infantum is not excreted by P. mascittii and possibly can establish an infection within P. mascittii. Interestingly, an asymptomatic dog living on the farm where this sand fly had been caught was also Leishmania-positive. Conclusions: This study provides new data on the suspected vector capacity of P. mascittii, being the northernmost sand fly species in Europe and in most central European regions the only sand fly species found. Proven vector capacity of P. mascittii for Leishmania spp. would be of significant medico-veterinary importance, not only with respect to expanding sand fly populations in Central Europe related to global warming, but also in the light of globalization and increasing movements of humans. Keywords: Phlebotomine sand fly, Phlebotomus mascittii, Leishmania infantum, Natural infection, Central Europe, Austria