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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-37

Sandfly fauna and ecological analysis of Phlebotomus orientalis and Phlebotomus martini in the lowland foci of visceral leishmaniasis in Somali Regional State, southeast Ethiopia

1 Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2 Department of Biology, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia
3 Department of Biology, Mada Walabu University, Bale-Robe, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Araya Gebresilassie
Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.273572

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Objective: To identify the sandfly fauna and analyze ecology of sandfly vector(s) of visceral leishmaniasis in three districts of Somali Regional State, southeast Ethiopia. Methods: Sandflies were collected from four sampling habitats, including indoor, peri-domestic, farm field and mixed forest using light and sticky traps in July 2016, and February and April 2017 in Liben and Dawa zones in the Somali Regional State, southeastern Ethiopia. Results: In total, 4 367 sandfly specimens, belonging to 12 species (three Phlebotomus spp. and nine Sergentomyia spp.) were identified. Phlebotomus (P.) heischi, P. orientalis, and P. martini constituted 45.7%, 31.1%, and 23.1% of the sandfly collection, respectively. There were significant differences in the median number of P. orientalis, and P. martini captured per CDC trap/night between the three sampling districts (P<0.05). In light trap capture, collection habitats had significant effects on the abundance of P. orientalis, and P. martini (P<0.05). More median numbers of P. orientalis, and P. martini species were collected in agricultural fields followed by mixed forest and peri-domestic habitats. P. orientalis and P. martini were caught more in outdoor than indoor habitats, suggesting exophilic behaviour. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that the presence of P. orientalis and P. martini are probable vectors of visceral leishmaniasis in this new focus. The findings of our study will improve the understanding of the dynamics of visceral leishmaniasis transmission and will facilitate the implementation of integrated disease control measures based on ecological knowledge of visceral leishmaniasis vector in Liben and Dawa zones and its surrounding regions.

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