Veterinary Parasitology, vol.209, pp.179-187, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has now been recorded from 38 provinces of Turkey. Twenty-one VL cases were reported within six years from settlements located in most northeastern Turkey and we therefore aimed to carry out an entomological and seroepidemiological survey in this new focus for clarifying risk factors. Blood samples from 290 children and 165 dogs were collected. Sera samples were investigated for anti-Leishmania antibodies using indirect fluorescent antibody test. Sand fly collection for determining the fauna and seasonal activity was performed in all settlements by CDC light traps between June and September 2006. Although no seropositive child was detected during the survey the overall seroprevalence rate of canine leishmaniasis was found as 7.2%. A total of 4154 sand flies were collected and 10 species of genus Phlebotomus were identified belonging to Adlerius, Larroussius, Paraphlebotomus and Phlebotomus subgenera. Among them Phlebotomus kandelakii s.l. (55.44%), Phlebotomus balcanicus (12.62%) and Phlebotomus neglectus (4.40%) was detected as probable vector species for this new focus. The poor sanitation, very high population size of sand flies, probably because of very short season, no control measures for sand flies as well as dogs, and presence of microclimate suitable for sand flies were considered as main risk factors in the area.