First molecular detection of Leishmania tarentolae-like DNA in Sergentomyia minuta in Spain

Reseña Parasitol Res. 2015 Dec 22. . Enlace
Autores Bravo-Barriga D, Parreira R, Maia C, Blanco-Ciudad J, Afonso MO, Frontera E, Campino L, Pérez-Martín JE, Serrano Aguilera FJ, Reina D.
Contribución This study presents the first detection of Leihmania tarentolae-like DNA in a sand fly from the Sergentomyia minuta in Spain. Additionally, this observation raises environmental concerns, not only because unknown species of reptiles or other animals may be involved in the biological cycle of this Leishmania species but also because its prevalence in putative vectors is unknown. Its pathogenic potential towards humans and other animals should also be investigated.

For this reason, studies that might bring additional insights into the epidemiology of Sauroleishmania and explore the possible role that Sergentomyia may play in the circulation of these parasites in mammals are of paramount importance, especially in countries where leishmaniosis is endemic.

Resumen 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.
Grupo de investigación

Departamento de Sanidad animal, Unidad de Parasitología, Facultad de Veterinaria, Cáceres.

Grupo Parasitoex


Colaboración especial de:

Unidade de Parasitologia Médica e Unidade de Parasitologia e Microbiologia Médicas

Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT)

Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Portugal.



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