Temperature effects on the activity of vectors for Leishmania tropica along rocky habitat gradients in the Eastern Mediterranean

Yoni Waitz, Shlomit Paz, David Meir, Dan Malkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania tropica, transmitted by Phlebotomus sergenti and Phlebotomus arabicus, has been detected in Israel. This research strives to identify the complexity of temperature effects on vectors of L. tropica and to analyze seasonality and distribution across altitudinal levels. Sand fly trappings were conducted monthly during 2015-2016 in an endemic region for L. tropica in the eastern Galilee. Trappings were conducted in hyrax den sites across a broad topographic and climatic gradient. Using N-mixture models, we investigated the activity levels of sand flies as related to temporary and periodic climatic variables. We tested generality of climate-driven models using Root-Mean-Square Error (RMSE) values by comparing the 2015-2016 data with trapping data from 2013. P. sergenti activity was found to be positively and exponentially correlated with early night temperatures and more strongly correlated with average early-night temperatures for two weeks. P. arabicus exhibited a linear correlation with temperature. Climate-driven models for both species yielded lower RMSE values for the 2013 data, which validate the generality of the models. Considerable differences were found in slope coefficients of temperature effect on sand fly activity among sites related to elevation levels, implying differential local responses of sand flies to temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, fund #1369/14. We would like to thank Prof. Alon Warburg, Oscar David Kirstein, and Dr. Ibrahim Abbasi for their valuable and essential assistance in this research. We are indebted to the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Health for their cooperation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Society for Vector Ecology

Keywords

  • Leishmaniasis
  • N-mixture models
  • Phlebotomus arabicus
  • Phlebotomus sergenti
  • population activity
  • rock hyrax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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