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Resistance of Phlebotomus papatasi to infection with Leishmania donovani is modulated by components of the infective bloodmeal

  • Y. SCHLEIN (a1) and R. L. JACOBSON (a1)

Abstract

The circumstances which permit the establishment of Leishmania infections in sandflies were investigated by altering the growth conditions for L. donovani parasites in the unsuitable vector Phlebotomus papatasi. Only 5·0% of the sandflies harboured a few parasites 3 days after feeding on promastigotes in defibrinated blood. Heparinized blood or the addition of trypsin inhibitor to the meals allowed persistence of infections (day 6) in 9·9% and 25·8% of the flies respectively. Meals of erythrocytes, saline and amastigotes produced 44·4% fly infection on day 6, while similar promastigote-initiated infections remained in 70·3% of the flies. Proteolytic activities in the guts of sandflies fed on the above meals without parasites, were the highest after defibrinated bloodmeals. Erythrocytes with saline decreased the maximal alkaline protease level from 20·8 U to 13·5 U/fly; that of trypsin from 3·9 U to 1·8 U/fly and that of the aminopeptidase from 5·5 U to 3·9 U/fly. After meals of heparinized blood, the maximal alkaline protease activity (12·0 U/fly) was also much lower than after defibrinated blood-feeding. The different diets which resulted in comparatively low enzymatic activities, including blood with trypsin inhibitor, also promoted the survival of infections. This implies that the proteolytic activity in the sandfly gut modulates the vector susceptibility.

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Corresponding author. Tel: +972 2 6758094. Fax: +972 2 6757425. E-mail: jacobsr@cc.huji.ac.il

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Resistance of Phlebotomus papatasi to infection with Leishmania donovani is modulated by components of the infective bloodmeal

  • Y. SCHLEIN (a1) and R. L. JACOBSON (a1)

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