Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Human and animal sera from an endemic area of sandfly fever in Iran were tested by plaque reduction neutralization method against five different Phlebotomus fever virus serotypes (Naples, Sicilian, Karimabad, Salehabad, and I-47). The overall prevalence of Naples, Sicilian, and Karimabad virus antibodies among the human population was 17%, 25%, and 66%, respectively. All sera were negative against Salehabad and I-47 viruses. Agespecific antibody rates suggested that Sicilian and Karimabad viruses were endemic in the study area but that Naples virus activity was sporadic. These observations were confirmed by isolations of Sicilian and Karimabad viruses from sandflies collected in the study area. Among the animal sera tested, evidence of Phlebotomus fever virus infection was detected only in gerbils. Of 38 tested, 34% had neutralizing antibodies against Sicilian virus and 32% against Karimabad. These results indicate that gerbils are infected with these two viruses and possibly might serve as reservoirs or amplifying hosts. The serologic studies also suggest that the ecology of Sicilian and Karimabad viruses involves chiefly sandflies, gerbils, and man, an epidemiologic pattern previously demonstrated for cutaneous leishmaniasis in the same region of Iran.


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