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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2001 Mar;95(2):197-202.

Seasonal and nocturnal landing/biting behaviour of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae).

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Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research, Agamkuan, Patna -- 800007, India.


The nocturnal activity of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae), the main vector of Leishmania donovani in India, was studied throughout a year, with monthly collections, between 18.00 and 06.00 hours, of the sandflies landing on 15 humans and 15 cows in the village of Bahapur, Patna district. The cattle appeared to be better as bait, since more than five female P. argentipes were caught on them for each one caught on the human bait. Overall, although P. argentipes were caught during each collection hour from 18.00--06.00 hours, the numbers caught landing/biting peaked at 23.00--24.00 hours. There were, however, slight seasonal variations in the timing of this peak in activity. The numbers of P. argentipes caught/collection night also varied with season, being significantly higher during the summer than during the rainy season or winter (P < 0.01 for each), and apparently inversely correlated with rainfall. Male P. argentipes were caught in much higher numbers than the females of this species, with female:male ratios of 1:8 for the flies caught on human bait and of 1:13 for those collected from cattle. If the probability of a female P. argentipes being infected with L. donovani does not vary with season, peak transmission of this parasite to humans probably occurs between February and May, at the middle of night.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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