Leishmania Parasite Infections and Blood Meal Source Apportionment in Sand Fly Vector Species in Mt. Elgon Habitats (Kenya)

Ombaka, Kennedy Ombula ; Makwali, Judith ; Ngeiywa, Moses (2022-06)

Aim:The aim of the current study was therefore to determine the leishmania parasite infections and blood meal sources in Mt. Elgon, Kenya. Methodology: A total of 400 blood fed female sand flies were randomly selected from the study sites for blood meal source determination. Samples analyzed by ELISA method. Test for blood meal sources was done for bat, hyrax, cat, and human. Results: The results indicated that females constituted 71.7% of the flies collected, while males constituted 28.3%. There were significant differences in Leishmania infection between the vector species (F = 4.1671, df = 3, P = 0.022). The genus was dominated by Phleobotomus pedifer (81.54%), P. longipes (12.83%), P. elgonensis (4.40%) and Sergentmoyia schwetzi (1.23%). The temporal trends showed significant differences relative to sampling months (χ2 = 7.1934, P = 0.013) where higher abundance of species occurred in dry months of February to April and November to April. A total of 5,688 sand flies were collected during the twenty four (24) month sampling period from the five study caves (for the period February 2017 to January 2019). There were significant spatial differences in species infection of vectors in the study area (χ2 = 14.9445, df = 12, P = 0.0012). Analysis by ELISA on 200 blood fed sand flies showed that 60% specimens fed on humans, 28% of blood fed sandflies fed on bats, 8% fed on hyraxes and 5% fed on cats. Conclusion: Transmission of Leishmania parasites involved three reservoir hosts (bats, hyraxes and cats) and one vector species (sandfly). Therefore disruption of the life cycle of the Leishmania parasites should be done targeting these animals.

Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare



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