Leishmania donovani leishmaniasis in Cyprus

Nicole Léger and Jérôme Depaquit emphasise “the importance of preventing an extension of this anthroponotic species in Europe”,1 a point also stressed by Dujardin et al,2 since leishmaniasis is not placed under public health surveillance in Europe.We certainly agree with the authors that the indigenous transmission of Leishmania donovani to Cyprus needs to be proven, since the possibility of the invasion of Cyprus by anthropophilic L donovani vectors cannot a priori be excluded—particularly if we consider the geopolitical status of the island (fi gure, A). In this scenario, imported L donovani-infected sandfl ies  would  need  either  to transmit the parasite within their short lifespan or survive and spread. While the fi rst hypothesis is contradicted by the 2–3 year observed infection period, the second is possible if the Cypriot ecosystem/microclimate is taken into account (fi  gure, B)


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