Volume 50, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The plant feeding of and the effects of plant diets on the infections were investigated. Plant-fed flies had small free particles and membranous shreds in their gut that were stained by calcofluor as cellulosic plant tissues. They were found in 34.0% of the female and 14.3% of the male sand flies following feeding on the caper plant (). No plant residues were found in 54 females that had been fed on plant-derived honeydew secretions of offered on a branch of the host plant. Calcofluor-stained particles were also absent from the gut lumen of unfed flies. The proportion of sugar feeding, regardless of the intake of plant tissue, in the series that had been offered caper plant or honeydew was estimated by testing for the presence of fructose in the gut. The proportion of fructose-positive flies in each series, among both males and females, was 45%. Plant feeding in the field was demonstrated by finding tissue residues in the gut of 32.8% of female and 10.3% of male from the Jordan Valley. Feeding on specific plants was demonstrated using baits of branches suffused with food dye and finding the dye marker in wild-caught . The influence of plant diets on infections in was as follows: and the honeydew of produced thriving parasitemias; however, feeding on , and caused > 50% mortality and deformation of parasites in 88%, 55%, and 46% of the infections, respectively. This type of injury was also observed in 21 of the 38 mature infections in field-caught flies. These observations imply that some plant diets of in the wild impair infections in the flies, thereby decreasing their capacity to transmit leishmaniasis.


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