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PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2011 Aug;5(8):e1288

Infection Parameters in the Sand Fly Vector That Predict Transmission of Leishmania major.

Stamper LW, Patrick RL, Fay MP, Lawyer PG, Elnaiem DE, Secundino N, Debrabant A, Sacks DL, Peters NC


To identify parameters of Leishmania infection within a population of infected sand flies that reliably predict subsequent transmission to the mammalian host, we sampled groups of infected flies and compared infection intensity and degree of metacyclogenesis with the frequency of transmission. The percentage of parasites within the midgut that were metacyclic promastigotes had the highest correlation with the frequency of transmission. Meta-analysis of multiple transmission experiments allowed us to establish a percent-metacyclic "cutoff" value that predicted transmission competence. Sand fly infections initiated with variable doses of parasites resulted in correspondingly altered percentages of metacyclic promastigotes, resulting in altered transmission frequency and disease severity. Lastly, alteration of sand fly oviposition status and environmental conditions at the time of transmission also influenced transmission frequency. These observations have implications for transmission of Leishmania by the sand fly vector in both the laboratory and in nature, including how the number of organisms acquired by the sand fly from an infection reservoir may influence the clinical outcome of infection following transmission by bite.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #21886852
PubMed Central ID: #PMC3160291
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-03 Entry Last Modified: 2019-10-27