Identification of Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) Collected from Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Endemic Focus in the Ho Municipality, Ghana
Leishmaniasis, is a vector-borne disease transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female sand flies. Active and continuous monitoring of the sand fly is an important aspect of disease control. Thus, the correct identification of its vectors is paramount in this regard. Objective: The study was conducted to morphologically and molecularly identify female sand fly species in a cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic focus collected in three villages in the Ho Municipality of the Volta region based on taxonomic keys. CDC light traps and sticky paper traps was used for the collection of the sand flies. The morphologically identified sand flies was molecularly confirmed by running PCR with the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase gene subunit I (COI) primers and DNA sequenced. A total of 537 sand flies was collected, made up of 363 females and 174 males. Eleven different species of sand flies was morphologically identified – one Phlebotomus species and ten Sergentomyia species. The PCR amplified products showed bands of molecular weights 658 base pairs for the primers. The molecular identification using the 658-bp fragment of the (COI) gene was congruent with the morphological identification.
Keywords:Morphological, molecular identification, cytochrome c oxidase gene subunit I
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