Phlebotomine sandflies and the spreading of leishmaniases and other diseases of public health concern

Abstract. Phlebotomine sandflies transmit pathogens that affect humans and animals
worldwide. We review the roles of phlebotomines in the spreading of leishmaniases,
sandfly fever, summer meningitis, vesicular stomatitis, Chandipura virus encephalitis
and Carri´on’s disease. Among over 800 species of sandfly recorded, 98 are proven or
suspected vectors of human leishmaniases; these include 42 Phlebotomus species in
the Old World and 56 Lutzomyia species in the New World (all: Diptera: Psychodidae).
Based on incrimination criteria, we provide an updated list of proven or suspected
vector species by endemic country where data are available. Increases in sandfly
diffusion and density resulting from increases in breeding sites and blood sources, and
the interruption of vector control activities contribute to the spreading of leishmaniasis
in the settings of human migration, deforestation, urbanization and conflict. In addition,
climatic changes can be expected to affect the density and dispersion of sandflies.
Phlebovirus infections and diseases are present in large areas of the Old World,
especially in the Mediterranean subregion, in which virus diversity has proven to be
higher than initially suspected. Vesiculovirus diseases are important to livestock and
humans in the southeastern U.S.A. and Latin America, and represent emerging human
threats in parts of India. Carri´on’s disease, formerly restricted to regions of elevated
altitude in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, has shown recent expansion to non-endemic
areas of the Amazon basin.
Key words. Carri´on’s disease, Chandipura virus encephalitis, leishmaniasis, phlebotomine
sandflies, sandfly fever, summer meningitis, vesicular stomatitis.

M. M A R O L I, M. D. F E L I C I ANG E L I, L. BI C H AUD, R. N. C H AR R E L

and L. G R ADO N I


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