Predicted Distribution of Visceral Leishmaniasis Vectors (Diptera: Psychodidae; Phlebotominae) in Iran: A Niche Model Study

Hanafi-Bojd, AA and Rassi, Y and Yaghoobi-Ershadi, MR and Haghdoost, AA and Akhavan, AA and Charrahy, Z and Karimi, A (2015) Predicted Distribution of Visceral Leishmaniasis Vectors (Diptera: Psychodidae; Phlebotominae) in Iran: A Niche Model Study. Zoonoses Public Health.

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Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an important vector-borne disease in Iran. Till now, Leishmania infantum has been detected from five species of sand flies in the country including Phlebotomus kandelakii, Phlebotomus major s.l., Phlebotomus perfiliewi, Phlebotomus alexandri and Phlebotomus tobbi. Also, Phlebotomus keshishiani was found to be infected with Leishmania parasites. This study aimed at predicting the probable niches and distribution of vectors of visceral leishmaniasis in Iran. Data on spatial distribution studies of sand flies were obtained from Iranian database on sand flies. Sample points were included in data from faunistic studies on sand flies conducted during 1995-2013. MaxEnt software was used to predict the appropriate ecological niches for given species, using climatic and topographical data. Distribution maps were prepared and classified in ArcGIS to find main ecological niches of the vectors and hot spots for VL transmission in Iran. Phlebotomus kandelakii, Ph. major s.l. and Ph. alexandri seem to have played a more important role in VL transmission in Iran, so this study focuses on them. Representations of MaxEnt model for probability of distribution of the studied sand flies showed high contribution of climatological and topographical variables to predict the potential distribution of three vector species. Isothermality was found to be an environmental variable with the highest gain when used in isolation for Ph. kandelakii and Ph. major s.l., while for Ph. alexandri, the most effective variable was precipitation of the coldest quarter. The results of this study present the first prediction on distribution of sand fly vectors of VL in Iran. The predicted distributions were matched with the disease-endemic areas in the country, while it was found that there were some unaffected areas with the potential transmission. More comprehensive studies are recommended on the ecology and vector competence of VL vectors in the country.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iran; Visceral leishmaniasis; niche modelling; sand fly vector
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: azam bazrafshan bazrafshan
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2016 07:10
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2016 07:10

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