Sandfly surveillance and investigation of Leishmania spp. DNA in sandflies in Kosovo

Vaselek S., Oguz G., Ayhan N., Ozbel Y., Kadriaj P., Cupina A., ...More

MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY, vol.34, no.4, pp.394-401, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/mve.12451
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.394-401
  • Keywords: Leishmania tropica, Phlebotomus, Kosovo, sandfly, SYRIAN REFUGEES, VECTOR
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In the past decade, leishmaniasis seems to be re-emerging in Balkan countries. There are serious implications that Kosovo is a visceral leishmaniasis endemic region with autochthonous transmission; nevertheless, surveillance of vectors, reservoirs or the disease is not yet established. Gaining knowledge about sandfly vector species is a prerequisite for the development of a monitoring and control plan in the future. After a long gap in research of over 70 years, sandfly studies in Kosovo were resumed in 2014. During this presence/absence study, nine sandfly species were detected: Phlebotomus papatasi, Ph. perfiliewi, Ph. tobbi, Ph. neglectus, Ph. simici, Ph. balcanicus, Ph. alexandri, Ph. mascittii and Sergentomyia minuta. Three species are new with regard to the fauna of Kosovo - Ph. alexandri, Ph. balcanicus and Ph. mascittii. Besides increased diversity, changes in the number of collected specimens and distribution range of species were recorded, with Ph. neglectus being the most dominant species with the widest distribution. Testing of randomly chosen females for Leishmania spp. DNA resulted the in detection of L. tropica in a specimen of Ph. neglectus. The presence of numerous vector species in the sandfly fauna of Kosovo pose a threat for the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases. Therefore, continuous surveillance is recommended with regular updates on vector distribution and abundance.