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Open AccessArticle

Isolation and Molecular Typing of Leishmania infantum from Phlebotomus perfiliewi in a Re-Emerging Focus of Leishmaniasis, Northeastern Italy

1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna “B. Ubertini” (IZLER), Via Antonio Bianchi 9, 25124 Brescia, Italy
2
Centro Agricoltura Ambiente “G. Nicoli”(CAA), Via Sant’Agata, 835, 40014 Crevalcore, Italy
3
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, via San Giacomo 14, 40126 Bologna, Italy
4
Unit of Microbiology, Regional Reference Center for Microbiological Emergencies (CRREM), St. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Itally
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(12), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7120644
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Infections: A Novel Threat for Global Health)
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania (L.) infantum is a public health threat in the Emilia-Romagna region, northeastern Italy, but its epidemiology has not been fully elucidated in this area. The objective of this study was to characterize Leishmania infection in sand flies collected in a re-emerging focus of VL in the Bologna province. During the summer of 2016, 6114 sand flies were collected, identified, and tested for Leishmania detection. Of the identified sand flies, 96.5% were Phlebotomus (P.) perfiliewi and 3.5% were P. perniciosus. Detected parasites were characterized by biomolecular methods (multilocus microsatellite typing and characterization of repetitive region on chromosome 31), and quantified by real-time PCR. The prevalence of Leishmania infection in individually-tested P. perfiliewi sand flies varied from 6% to 10% with an increasing trend during the season. Promastigotes of L. infantum were isolated by dissection in one P. perfiliewi female; the isolated strain (Lein-pw) were closely related to Leishmania parasites from VL cases in northeastern Italy, but differed from strains isolated in dogs from the same area. Our findings strongly support the vector status of P. perfiliewi for human VL in the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leishmania infantum; Phlebotomus perfiliewi; Phlebotomus perniciosus; visceral leishmaniasis; molecular typing; parasite load; quantitative PCR Leishmania infantum; Phlebotomus perfiliewi; Phlebotomus perniciosus; visceral leishmaniasis; molecular typing; parasite load; quantitative PCR
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Calzolari, M.; Carra, E.; Rugna, G.; Bonilauri, P.; Bergamini, F.; Bellini, R.; Varani, S.; Dottori, M. Isolation and Molecular Typing of Leishmania infantum from Phlebotomus perfiliewi in a Re-Emerging Focus of Leishmaniasis, Northeastern Italy. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 644.

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