Spatial distribution of phlebotomine sand flies in the Aydin Mountains and surroundings: the main focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in western Turkey



An entomological survey was conducted to determine the spatial distribution of phlebotomine fauna and understand the effect of environmental factors. The entomological survey was carried out during 2006–2007 in a study area in the rural area of Aydin province, near the Kusadasi town where VL, CL, and canine leishmaniasis (CanL) are endemic. In 2006 and 2007, 132 locations were sampled using sticky traps mainly on embankments. Detailed environmental and meteorological information was also collected for each location. The results of entomological studies indicated that the probable vectors are Phlebotomus tobbi and P. neglectus for VL and CanL, and P. similis for CL in this western leishmaniasis focus. The data revealed a correlation between their presence and spatial variables such as altitude, sampling site location, and humidity. The distribution areas of probable vector species in this study area allowed the identification of risk levels, which may provide useful information to guide the leishmaniasis research in endemic regions.