I just come back from the field with a vial of app. 20 living
phlebotomids. They obviously feed on the lizard I am investigating
(Egernia stokesii, an Australian skink). Does anybody know how to
establish a breed of sandflies?
The lizard is infected by at least two different blood parasites
(plasmodium spec./haemogregarine(s)spp.). The hard ticks Amblyomma
vikirri and A.limbatum are probably vectors for at least one type of
haemogregarine. I try hard to find a vector for the malaria, and this
sandfly is currently my best shot at it. Besides the epidemiological
investigation I am trying to develop a specific primer to detect the
blood parasite RNA in the vertebrate host and the vectors by PCR. I
haven't got very far yet. Ideal would be something to divide between the
lizard malaria and the haemogregarine(s), but so far I can't even get a
PCR product out of heavily and double infected lizard blood. My best
guess is that the nucleated blood cells cause some trouble. Is there
anyone working on the subject(s)?