Letters to the Editor

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  • Department of Parasitology Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Sir:

We would like to comment on the recent article describing the distribution of Phlebotomus papatasii in Southwest Asia. According to the results, Israel, except for the Jordan Valley, is included in the areas classified as not compatible for Ph. papatasii. In fact, cutaneous leishmaniasis foci exist in the Negev and Arava regions where Leishmania major infections are transmitted by large populations of Ph. papatasii. The authors use Jerusalem as an example for the lack of L. major infections in the marginal areas of Ph. papatasii distribution. They quote a statement that in Jerusalem only one generation of sandflies reaches the adult stage in a season as the reason for the lack of L. major transmission. This statement has been erroneously attributed to one of us while actually it is from an earlier paper by Theodor. More importantly, this statement appears to be an incorrect assumption.