Xth EMOP, August 2008
Molecular crosstalks in Leishmania-sandfly-host relationships
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Vinicna 7, Prague 2, 128 44 Czech Republic
* Correspondence: Petr Volf. Tel.: ++4202 2195 1815 – Fax: ++4202 2491 9704. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandflies (Diptera: Phlebotominae) are vectors of Leishmania parasites, causative agents of important human and animal diseases with diverse manifestations. This review summarizes present knowledge about the vectorial part of Leishmania life cycle and parasite transmission to the vertebrate host. Particularly, it focuses on molecules that determine the establishment of parasite infection in sandfly midgut. It describes the concept of specific versus permissive sandfly vectors, explains the epidemiological consequences of broad susceptibility of permissive sandflies and demonstrates that genetic exchange may positively affect Leishmania fitness in the vector. Last but not least, the review describes recent knowledge about circulating antibodies produced by hosts in response to sandfly bites. Studies on specificity and kinetics of antibody response revealed that anti-saliva IgG could be used as a marker of host exposure to sandflies, i.e. as a useful tool for evaluation of vector control.
Key words: Leishmania / sandfly / host
© PRINCEPS Editions, Paris, 2008