Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Natural infection of phlebotomines (Diptera: Psychodidae) by Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in an area of ecotourism in Central-Western Brazil

Fernandes Brilhante, AndreiaLúcia Brandão Nunes, VâniaAugusto Kohatsu, KleberAparecida Bianchi Galati, EuniceElizabeth Ghizzi Rocca, MariaAoba Yassui Ishikawa, Edna

AbstractBackground Bonito municipality, known as an area of ecoturism, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, is also a focus of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniases, with cases registered in both human and canine populations. This study sought to investigate natural infection by flagellate forms of Leishmania in phlebotomines of the urban area of Bonito.Findings Sand flies were collected fortnightly from October 2005 to July 2006 with modified automatic light traps installed in peridomiciles and animal shelters in the center and on the outskirts of the city. The females were dissected and their guts observed under an optical microscope. A total of 1977 specimens were captured, Lutzomyia longipalpis (88.4 %) and Bichromomyia flaviscutelata (3.0 %) being the most frequent species. Bi. flaviscutellata was found infected by flagellates that were identified as Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis by indirect immunofluorescence reaction, employing monoclonal antibodies and the biotin-avidin system. This is the first report of natural infection by L. amazonensis in Bi. flaviscutellata in a Brazilian urban area.Conclusions As Bi. flaviscutellata is only slightly attracted by humans, the transmission of L. amazonensis in the study area may have a zoonotic character; however, the sympatric occurrence of this parasite andLu. longipalpis should be taken into consideration by the local health authorities since this sand fly has already been found with L. amazonensis DNA in a focus of canine visceral leishmaniasis in Bonito municipality.

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