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Published Online: 15 December 2008

Zooprophylaxis: Impact of Breeding Rabbits Around Houses on Reducing the Indoor Abundance of Phlebotomus papatasi

Publication: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume 8, Issue Number 6

Abstract

Zooprophylaxis is the use of animals to deviate vectors from humans. The indoor abundance of Phlebotomus papatasi in houses with rabbit holes in the peridomestic areas are significantly lower than the indoor abundance in houses without rabbit holes in their peridomestic areas. Introduction of rabbits in artificial underground holes in peridomestic areas reduced significantly the indoor abundance of P. papatasi. Cleaning rabbit holes in peridomestic area by removing all rabbit feces induced a significant increase in the abundance of P. papatasi inside bedrooms. The ecologic niche made around houses in endemic areas by creating active rabbit holes is a major source of attractiveness of P. papatasi, and therefore it may deviate the vector from humans to rabbits. Although rabbit holes are breeding sites for P. papatasi, rabbits are not competent reservoirs for Leishmania major. Our overall findings strongly suggest that zooprophylaxis could be effective in reducing the indoor abundance of P. papatasi and subsequently may be used to control the transmission L. major in rural areas.

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Published In

cover image Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume 8Issue Number 6December 2008
Pages: 741 - 748
PubMed: 18627242

History

Published online: 15 December 2008
Published in print: December 2008
Published ahead of print: 15 July 2008

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    Ifhem Chelbi
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Vector Ecology, Tunis, Tunisia.
    Belhassen Kaabi
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Ecology of Parasites, Tunis, Tunisia.
    Mohamed Derbali
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Vector Ecology, Tunis, Tunisia.
    Sami Ben Hadj Ahmed
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Vector Ecology, Tunis, Tunisia.
    Koussay Dellagi
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Immunology, Vaccinology, and Molecular Genetics, Tunis, Tunisia.
    Elyes Zhioua
    Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Laboratory of Vector Ecology, Tunis, Tunisia.

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