Sand flies are important vector of diseases to human and animals. Their bite can be particularly annoying , especially if their population is abundant. Sand fly bite itself can induce a number of skin reactions including sensitization, inflammation and redness. Phlebotomus papatasi bites result in a pink or red papules which can last for up to 5 days.
Public Health implication of Sand Flies
Human diseases transmitted by sand flies are diverse and involve several species. Known sand fly-borne diseases include leishmaniasis, sand fly fever, changuinola fever, vesicular stomatitis, bartonellosis and chandipura virus disease. Sand flies can be found in all parts of the world. In the United States, the are anthropophilic species such as Lutzomyia diabolicaexist. Other species of sand flies can be found in other parts of the world particularly in Central and Latine America.
Veterinary Importance of Sand Flies
Only Phlebotomines have veterinary importance. Sand Flies are responsible for transmission of canine and feline leishmaniasis. These diseases affect both domestic dogs and cats. Sand flies prefer to bite those animals on their nose and ears. Leismaniasis cases have been documented in the United States particularly in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Ohio (reference).
In New York, there has been cases of visceral leishmaniasis in foxhounds in 1999. The outbreak resulted in 20 fatalities among foxhunting club (reference). A similar outbreak has also been documented in Michigan in 1989.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease transmitted to horses, swine, cattle sheep and goats.