• Lemma Wossenseged


: hyraxes; leishmaniasis; control; Ethiopia.


Hyraxes are known in many parts of Ethiopia by the vernacular name ‘Shikoko’ or ‘Osole’ and resemble mice. Bush hyraxes (Heterohyrax brucei), rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) and tree hyraxes (Dendrohyrax dorsalis, Dendrohyrax arboreus, Dendrohyrax validus) are the extant species in the three genera and all of the groups are found in Ethiopia. Dendrohyrax species are not described in Ethiopia and little is known about this genus. Bush and rock hyraxes are the known
reservoir hosts of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) due to Leishmania aethiopica (L. aethiopica) in highlands of Ethiopia. They
are also believed to be the reservoir hosts of Leishmania tropica (L. tropica) and Leishmania killicki (L. killicki). Their role
as a reservoir hosts of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) is not known. The current strategy suggested by World Health
Organization (WHO) for Leishmania control is based on treating infected individuals in addition to reservoir host and vector control. In Ethiopia, treating infected individuals has no role in disease control since leishmaniasis is zoonotic in its
range. Shooting of hyraxes and/or encouraging predators of hyraxes (biological control), found near heavily infected population with CL, are the only possible ways to control CL based on reservoir control in addition to environmental management. The use of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent the bites of nocturnally active sandflies is getting attention to prevent
both CL and VL. This method could be used in Ethiopia.