Insect vectors of Leishmania: Distribution, physiology and their control

Umakant Sharma, Sarman Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Leishmaniasis is a deadly vector-borne disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Mediterranean regions. The causative agent of leishmaniasis is transmitted from man to man by a tiny insect called sandfly. Approximately, 600 species of sandflies are known but only 10% of these act as disease vectors. Further, only 30 species of these are important from public health point. Fauna of Indian sub-zone is represented by 46 species, of these, 11 belong to Phlebotomine species and 35 to Sergentomyia species. Phlebotomus argentipes is the proven vector of kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis in India. This review gives an insight into the insect vectors of human leishmaniasis, their geographical distribution, recent taxonomic classification, habitat, and different control measures including indoor residual spraying (IRS), insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), environmental management, biological control, and emerging resistance to DDT. Role of satellite remote sensing for early prediction of the disease by identifying the sandflygenic conditions cannot be undermined. The article also underlines the importance of synthetic pheromones which can be used in near future for the control of these vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vector Borne Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Geographic distribution
  • Leishmania
  • Lutzomia
  • Phlebotomus
  • Sandfly
  • Taxonomy
  • Vector control


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