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Title: Linking Climate to Incidence of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (L. major) in Pre-Saharan North Africa

Shifts in surface climate may have changed the dynamic of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) in the pre-Saharan zones of North Africa. Caused by Leishmania major, this form multiplies in the body of rodents serving as reservoirs of the disease. The parasite is then transmitted to human hosts by the bite of a Phlebotomine sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) that was previously fed by biting an infected reservoir. We examine the seasonal and interannual dynamics of the incidence of this ZCL as a function of surface climate indicators in two regions covering a large area of the semi-arid Pre-Saharan North Africa. Results suggest that in this area, changes in climate may have initiated a trophic cascade that resulted in an increase in ZCL incidence.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(8):3172-3191
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States