Author(s): Mehrabani D, Motazedian MH, Oryan A, Asgari Q, Hatam GR,
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Abstract Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania major occurs widely in Iran, where several species of rodent serve as the parasite's 'reservoir' hosts. In an attempt to identify the rodent hosts in the Larestan region, which lies in the Fars province of southern Iran (where the incidence of human CL has been rising), 32 rodents (20 Tatera indica, eight Meriones crassus, four Gerbillus sp.) were caught and checked for leishmanial infection. Using two detection methods (the microscopical examination of stained tissue smears and the culture of tissue samples) and a PCR to identify any leishmanial parasites detected, L. major was identified in six of the rodents caught: two male T. indica from Alamarvdasht, two female T. indica from Lamerd, and two females of the genus Gerbillus (one caught in Lamerd and one in Lar). Although the samples were too small to prove that M. crassus is not a significant host of L. major in Larestan, they were large enough to indicate that T. indica and members of the genus Gerbillus serve as reservoir hosts of L. major in the region. Tatera indica appears to be an important host of L. major across much of Iran but this appears to be the first time that the genus Gerbillus has been found to be involved in the epidemiology of CL in the country.
This article was published in Ann Trop Med Parasitol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy