Caister Academic Press

The Biology of Leishmania- Sand Fly Interactions

David Sacks, Phillip Lawyer and Shaden Kamhawi
from: Leishmania: After The Genome (Edited by: Peter J. Myler and Nicolas Fasel). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)

Abstract

Phlebotomine sand flies are the only known natural vectors of Leishmania, and of the more than 400 phlebotomine species described, fewer than fifty are known to be involved in the transmission cycle of these parasites. Furthermore, some vectors species are highly restricted to the species of Leishmania that they transmit in nature. This chapter reviews the natural habitat of Leishmania amastigotes and promastigotes during their transformation, growth, differentiation, and migration in the alimentary tract of their competent vectors, and the barriers to survival that are encountered in refractory flies. Most importantly, the chapter details the Leishmania species-, strain-, and stage-specific molecules that are known or postulated to permit the development of transmissible infections to proceed. The chapter will hopefully serve to better inform the search of the Leishmania genome so that a fuller accounting of the molecules controlling parasite-vector interactions can be achieved, with a longer view toward the development of a successful transmission blocking vaccine(s) read more ...
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