Diversity of Phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in mountainous and plain areas of an endemic focus of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran
Authors: Saideh Yousefi, Ali Reza Zahraei-Ramazani, Yavar Rassi, Mohammad Reza Aflatoonian, Mohammad Reza Yaghoobi-Ershadi, Abbas Aghaei-Afshar, Amir Ahmad Akhavan, Masoumeh Amin, Azim Paksa
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Objective: To determine the diversity of sand flies in different biotopes of mountainous and plain areas of Bam County as the most infected focus of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in southeast Iran, and synanthropic index of Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot, and Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli as the main vectors of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran.
Methods: Sand flies were captured once a month using sticky traps in domestic, peri-domestic, agricultural, and sylvatic biotopes in the plain and mountainous areas. Alpha diversity indices, including richness, evenness, Shannon-Wiener; beta diversity indices (Jaccard’s and Sorensen’s similarity indices) and synanthropic index were calculated.
Results: A total of 2 664 specimens of 9 sand fly species were collected from mountainous (47%) and plain (53%) areas. Species richness, species evenness, and Shannon-Wiener indices were obtained as 9, 0.637, and 1.399, respectively in the mountainous area. Phlebotomus sergenti and Phlebotomus papatasi were constant species with the synanthropic index of -18.463 and -29.412, respectively. In addition, species richness, species evenness, and Shannon-Wiener indices were 4, 0.690, and 0.956, respectively in the plain area. Phlebotomus sergenti and Phlebotomus papatasi were dominant species with the synanthropic index of +9.695 and +36.207, respectively. Similarity indices were low among different biotopes of plain and mountainous areas.
Conclusions: A basic knowledge about the diversity of sand flies in various biotopes is essential to design sound control programs. Biodiversity and synanthropic indices of sand flies are different in plain and mountainous areas due to the difference in biotic and abiotic factors between the two areas.