Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 43–49 | Cite as

Geographic and ecological features of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) as leishmaniasis in Central Iran

  • Hassan Vatandoost
  • Jalil Nejati
  • Abedin Saghafipour
  • Alireza Zahraei-Ramazani
Original Article


Phlebotomine sand flies occur throughout the tropics and subtropics, as well as in temperate regions of the world. They are vectors of human and canine leishmaniasis and sand fly fevers caused by phleboviruses. This study was aimed to determine the geographic and ecological characteristics of phlebotomine sand flies as vectors of leishmaniasis and to prepare a checklist of phlebotomine sand flies. The study was conducted in Qom province, central Iran, between April and November 2016. Qom is located in latitude 34.6399°N and longitude 50.8759°E with average annual minimum and maximum temperatures of 16.5 and 49 °C, annual rainfall of 150 mm and relative humidity of 84 and 28%, respectively. Sand flies were collected by sticky paper traps from Qom city and its six districts. The sand flies collected were separated from the sticky paper traps using an insulin syringe and kept in 70% ethanol for species identification using taxonomic keys. Also, a literature review was performed using all published reports on phlebotomine sand flies in this province during 1999–2015. A total of 28,410 sand flies from two genera and 14 species were collected. Phlebotomus papatasi, the main vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis and arboviruses, and Phlebotomus sergenti, the vector of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis, were the predominant species followed by Phlebotomus kandelakii, P. major and P. alexandri. Fourteen species from two genera mostly from wet and mountainous areas were identified in the study area. Kahak and Markazi districts were identified as high-risk foci with numerous leishmaniasis vectors species; we recommend intensifying and strengthening of vector control programme in the area of study.


Checklist Phlebotomine sand flies Ecology Leishmaniasis Iran 



The authors appreciate the efforts of the director and staff of the Qom Health Centre. Our appreciation also goes to Fatemeh Abedi-Astaneh, MSc student in Medical Science at Tehran University for completing the sand fly collection. This work was supported by Qom University of Medical Sciences.

Authors’ contributions

This study was planned by the corresponding author, who also participated in the collection of sand flies from the study area. Other authors helped in collecting the samples, identification and confirmation of the sand fly species, and the article was written under their scientific guidance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassan Vatandoost
    • 1
  • Jalil Nejati
    • 2
  • Abedin Saghafipour
    • 3
  • Alireza Zahraei-Ramazani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Health Promotion Research CenterZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran
  3. 3.Department of Public Health, Faculty of HealthQom University of Medical SciencesQomIran

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