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Predicting the risk of an endemic focus of Leishmania tropica becoming established in south-western Europe through the presence of its main vector, Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot, 1917

  • S. D. BARÓN (a1), F. MORILLAS-MÁRQUEZ (a1), M. MORALES-YUSTE (a1), V. DÍAZ-SÁEZ (a1), M. GÁLLEGO (a2), R. MOLINA (a3) and J. MARTÍN-SÁNCHEZ (a1)...


The aim of the study was the construction of risk maps for exposure to Phlebotomus sergenti, the main vector of Leishmania tropica, with a view to identifying hot spots for the potential establishment of this parasite in the southwest of Europe. Data were collected on the presence/absence of this vector and the ecological and climatic characteristics of 662 sampling sites located in the southeast, centre and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula (south-western Europe). The environmental factors associated with the distribution of P. sergenti were determined. The best predictors for the presence of this dipteran were ‘altitude’, ‘land use’, ‘land surface temperature’, ‘aspect’, ‘adjacent land cover’, ‘absence of vegetation in wall’ and the ‘absence of PVC pipes in the drainage holes of retaining walls’. Risk maps for exposure to the vector were drawn up based on these variables. The validation of the predictive risk model confirmed its usefulness in the detection of areas with a high risk of P. sergenti being present. These locations represent potential hot spots for an autochthonous focus of L. tropica becoming established. The risk maps produced for P. sergenti presence revealed several areas in the centre and south of the Iberian Peninsula to be the most prone to this process, which would make it possible for the disease to enter south-western Europe.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, 18071 Granada, Spain. E-mail:


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Predicting the risk of an endemic focus of Leishmania tropica becoming established in south-western Europe through the presence of its main vector, Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot, 1917

  • S. D. BARÓN (a1), F. MORILLAS-MÁRQUEZ (a1), M. MORALES-YUSTE (a1), V. DÍAZ-SÁEZ (a1), M. GÁLLEGO (a2), R. MOLINA (a3) and J. MARTÍN-SÁNCHEZ (a1)...


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