Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 2:45 PM

Under-recognized ecology and physiology of reservoir sand rats and the effects of endectocides on the rodents

V. Michelle Chenault,, Assoc. Dir., Medical Device Fellowship Program, FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health Office, Office of the Center Director, 9200 Corporate Blvd, HFZ-1, Rockville, MD, Carroll, P. Schnupp,, Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD, J. Allen Miller,, USDA-ARS Knipling-Bushland US Livestock Insect Research Laboratory, 2700 Fredericksburg Road, Kerrville, TX, and Victoria B. Solberg,, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Entomology/Vector Control, 503 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD.

Psammomys obesus, the sand rat (SR), is a common rodent in the parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Sand rats excavate and live in burrows near or under Chenopod plants in the salty desert areas and have been identified as a major reservoir host that transmits Leishmania major to na´ve phlebotomine vector sand flies (SFs). The SFs feed on the sand rat or other human or mammal hosts to obtain blood proteins for the production of eggs. The feeding is a necessary step in the transmission of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa to humans. Further, endemic SRs eat a selective diet composed primarily of Chenopod plants. The halophilic plants are extremely high in fiber, and low in carbohydrates, protein and fat, essential for their survival in the wild. Thus, novel adult, pupal and larval SF control methods using the unique ecological and physiological features of the sand rats have been investigated by treating them with specially formulated sand rat diets containing endectocides. The effects of the endectocides on the sand rats will be discussed.

Species 1: Diptera Psychodidae Phlebotomus papatasi (sand flies)

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