Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting U.S. troops against sand flies

Date:
November 19, 2012
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are helping deployed American troops protect themselves against sand flies, which are major pests in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East. Sand flies are vectors of parasites that cause leishmaniasis, a devastating disease for which there is no vaccine or medication.

ARS researchers are looking for better ways to control sand flies as part of the USDA Deployed War-Fighter Protection Research Program, a USDA-DOD initiative designed to find methods to help protect military personnel against disease-causing insects.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are helping deployed American troops protect themselves against sand flies, which are major pests in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East.

Sand flies are vectors of Leishmania parasites that cause leishmaniasis, a devastating disease for which there is no vaccine or medication. People who are bitten by infected sand flies do not know whether they have the disease until it becomes apparent three or four months later. Symptoms include permanent skin disfigurement and sometimes severe organ damage.

At the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas, entomologists Andrew Li and Adalberto Pιrez de Leσn, along with their colleagues, are studying different methods to kill sand flies. Part of the research is funded by a USDA initiative called the Deployed War-Fighter Protection Research Program, designed to find methods to help protect military personnel against disease-causing insects.

The researchers are screening insecticides to find out which ones are more effective and useful to military personnel and other people affected by this pest. Li is also studying sand fly resistance to pesticides, and is developing a test for detecting the mutations responsible for resistance.

To evaluate new insecticides and repellents, researchers started a sand fly colony, which will also enable them to develop formulations and design diagnostic tools that can rapidly detect sand fly resistance to chemicals. This research is especially crucial for deployed military personnel. It was reported that in one incident, troops in Iraq were being bitten between 100 and 1,000 times per night by sand flies.

Finding solutions to control sand flies is also a priority of scientists at the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory in Thessaloniki, Greece, where they're taking a close look at sand fly populations that transmit leishmaniasis in their country. Results from this research could also help scientists initiate better strategies and develop new and improved tools to control sand flies.

ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Read more about this research in the November/December 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov12/insects1112.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Sandra Avant. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Protecting U.S. troops against sand flies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114245.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2012, November 19). Protecting U.S. troops against sand flies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114245.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Protecting U.S. troops against sand flies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119114245.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) — A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins