Distribution and Dispersal of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in a Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Focus, the Northern Negev, Israel
Vector control constitutes an important component of integrated disease control campaigns. Source reduction is not an option for phlebotomine sand fly vectors of leishmaniasis, because larval breeding sites remain either unknown or inaccessible. Thus, all control efforts are directed against the adult sand flies, mostly attempting to limit their contact with humans. We describe experiments using an insecticide-treated vertical barrier to prevent sand flies from reaching inhabited areas of an agricultural settlement. A 400 meter long section of the peripheral fence of Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, Jordan Valley, Israel was draped with a deltamethrin-impregnated net that is impenetrable to sand flies (polyester net, 450 holes/inch(2)). Sand flies were captured before and after construction of the barrier using CO(2)-baited CDC traps. Sand fly numbers, as monitored around three houses internal to the barrier, exhibited an 84.9% decrease once the barrier was erected (P=0.003). Concurrently, the neighboring control group of three houses, not protected by the barrier, exhibited a 15.9% increase in sand fly numbers (P=0.974). These results corroborate previous findings of field tests conducted on a smaller scale in an arid suburban setting. Campaigns for reducing the burden of sand fly bites and curtailing the transmission of leishmaniasis, should consider integrating vertical fine-mesh nets with other sand fly control measures.