Epidemiology of leishmaniases in Kenya. Natural host preference of wild caught phlebotomine sandflies in Baringo District, Kenya

Mutinga, M.J.; Basimike, M.; Kamau, C.C.; Mutero, C.M.

East African Medical Journal 67(5): 319-327


ISSN/ISBN: 0012-835X
PMID: 2390954
Accession: 007308647

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Host preference of wild caught phlebotomine sandflies was studied in Marigat, Baringo District, Kenya, an endemic focus for both Leishmania donovani Laveran & Mensel and L. major Yakimov & Schokhov using precipitin test of blood meals. Sandflies of the Phlebotomus Rondani & Berte and Sergentomyia Franc & Parrot genera were encountered blood fed and resting in nine different habitats which were investigated. Analysis of their blood meals revealed a distinct host preference between the Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia genera. A distinction of host preference within species of each of the two genera was also observed. Furthermore, certain resting habitats from which the bloodfed sandflies were collected appeared to be favoured by specific sandfly species. It was observed that most of the wild hosts such as lizards and rodents except the hippopotamus, shared the same resting habitats with the sandflies. It was also observed that the man-biting sandflies preferred to rest outdoors after feeding. Domestic animals and man were the favoured hosts of vectors of both visceral and cutaneous leishmaniases, thus introducing an element of zooprophylaxis.