Inventory and taxonomy of phlebotomine sand flies of the Mokolo leishmaniasis focus, northern Cameroon, with description of new Sergentomyia taxa (Diptera: Psychodidae).

Affiliation

Laboratory of the Leishmaniasis Research Project, Mokolo District Hospital, Mokolo, Cameroon; Laboratory of Cellular Immunology and Parasitology, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Leishmaniasis is endemic in northern Cameroon. However, the sand fly vectors have not been incriminated. A sand fly species inventory was generated by integrating a number of techniques. Miniature light traps were used for collecting sand flies in a variety of ecotopes found across the area, and a morphological and molecular identification approach for taxonomic confirmation was undertaken. In a pilot survey conducted in September 2012, we captured 687 sand flies, 259 of which were morphologically identified to species level. They represent 14 species of the genera Sergentomyia and Grassomyia. No Phlebotomus spp. were found. A second series of collections was carried out during 2013 in five different environmental setups: two urban, two peri-urban/rural and one sylvatic; 14,036 sand flies (6665 males and 7371 females) were collected. A total of 5926 females and 98 males were morphologically identified to species level, representing 19 species of the genera Sergentomyia, Grassomyia and Phlebotomus, including Ph. duboscqi, a known vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the region. Two new taxa were found and are described: Sergentomyia (Sintonius) thomsoni mandarai ssp. nov. and Se. coronula sp. nov. Our study is the first to report the following species in Cameroon: Se. (Sin.) thomsoni (as ssp. nov. mandarai), Se. (Ser.) cincta, Se. (Sin.) affinis ssp. vorax, Se. (Sin.) adami, Se. (Sin.) herollandi, and Se. (Sin.) christophersi. In addition, some morphologically atypical Sergentomyia specimens (combination of Ser. x Sin. traits) were recorded. A checklist of 32 species reports from Cameroon is presented.

Keywords

Cameroon,DNA,Leishmaniasis,New species,Sand flies,Taxonomy,

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