Can Sergentomyia (Diptera, Psychodidae) play a role in the transmission of mammal-infecting Leishmania?

Carla Maia, Jérôme Depaquit

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Leishmaniases are parasitic diseases caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania. The parasites, which infect various wild and domestic mammals, including humans, are transmitted by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies belonging to the Phlebotomus genus in the Old World and to several genera (including Lutzomyia, Psychodopygus and Nyssomyia) in the New World. In this paper, we consider the genus Sergentomyia as divided into seven subgenera, mainly based on spermathecal morphology: Sergentomyia, Sintonius, Parrotomyia, Rondanomyia, Capensomyia, Vattieromyia and Trouilletomyia. We also include the groups Grassomyia and Demeillonius but exclude the genera Spelaeomyia and Parvidens. The possible role of Sergentomyia in the circulation of mammalian leishmaniases in the Old World has been considered as Leishmania DNA and/or parasites have been identified in several species. However, several criteria must be fulfilled to incriminate an arthropod as a biological vector of leishmaniasis, namely: it must be attracted to and willing to feed on humans and any reservoir host, and be present in the same environment; several unambiguously identified wild female flies not containing blood meals have to be found infected (through isolation and/or typing of parasites) with the same strain of Leishmania as occurs in humans or any reservoir host; the presence of infective forms of Leishmania on naturally infected females and/or on colonized sand flies infected experimentally should be observed; and finally, the vector has to be able to transmit parasites as a result of blood-feeding on a susceptible mammal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55
JournalParasite (Paris, France)
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Leishmania spp.
  • leishmaniases
  • Sergentomyia sp.
  • vector role

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