Turkiye’de Yayılım Gosteren Kum Sineği (Dıptera: Psychodıdae) Turlerinin Konak Tercihleri
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One of the most significant steps in studies on the transmission cycles of vector-borne diseases is to determine the host preferences of vectors. Turkey is among the countries where visceral leishmaniasis and cutaneous leishmaniasis, which are vectorized by sand fly species, are endemic. However, few studies have been conducted on the host preferences of sand fly species that are widespread in Turkey. The aim of this thesis study is to determine on which vertebrate hosts the sand fly species sampled from different geographical areas feed on. A detailed host preference analysis was conducted, including areas where sandfly-borne diseases have been recorded, as well as geographies where the disease has not been recorded so far. Sand flies for which host preference analysis carried out were selected from among bloodfed and halfgravid female individuals in the collection of Hacettepe University Department of Biology Vector Ecology Research Group, sampled between 2006-2019 and identified using morphological and/or molecular methods. The host preferences of 265 individuals belonging to the subgenus Phlebotomus, Paraphlebotomus, Larroussius, Adlerius, Transphlebotomus and Sergentomyia were evaluated by Sanger sequencing of mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes. The feeding patterns of sandflies were determined by Null model analysis, and the similarities of different sandfly taxa in terms of host preferences were calculated using the Chao-Jaccard abundance-based similarity index. Sanger sequence analysis yielded prosperous results for 225 individuals and the presence of nine different vertebrate hosts was determined for 15 different sand fly taxa. Of the sand fly individuals whose host preferences were determined %80,35 (n=180) Bos taurus, % 8,48 (n=19) Gallus gallus, % 5,80 (n= 13) Capra hircus, % 2,67 (n=6) Mus musculus, % 0,89 (n=2) Homo sapiens, % 0,89 (n=2) Ovis aries, % 0,44 (n=1) Canis lupus familiaris, % 0,44 (n=1) Felis catus ve % 0,44 (n=1) Sitta spp. was found to be fed. Phlebotomus sergenti fed on five; Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus major s.l. and Phlebotomus perfiliewi s.l. fed on four, Phlebotomus kandelakii s.l., Phlebotomus tobbi, Phlebotomus halepensis, Phlebotomus simici and Adlerius sp. fed on two different host species, Paraphlebotomus spp., Phlebotomus balcanicus, Phlebotomus kyreniae, Phlebotomus anatolicus, Phlebotomus killicki and Sergentomyia dentata prefer a vertebrate species as their host. It has been revealed that sand fly taxa have a clustered feeding pattern. As a result of similarity analysis although a significant overlap was found in the host preferences of sand flies it was observed that species belonging to the subgenus Paraphlebotomus were predominantly ornithophilic while species belonging to the subgenus Phlebotomus, Larroussius, Adlerius, Transphlebotomus and Sergentomyia were predominantly mammophilic. The estimated contribution of the obtained results to the studies on the epidemiology of sand fly-borne diseases was evaluated.