Blood feeding patterns of Nyssomyia intermedia and Nyssomyia neivai (Diptera, Psychodidae) in a cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic area of the Ribeira Valley, State of São Paulo, Brazil


Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop.




Introduction The aim of this study was to identify the blood feeding sources of Nyssomyia intermedia (Ny. intermedia) and Nyssomyia neivai (Ny. neivai), which are Leishmania vectors and the predominant sandfly species in the Ribeira Valley, State of São Paulo, Brazil, an endemic area for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Methods Specimens were captured monthly between February 2001 and December 2003 on a smallholding and a small farm situated in the Serra district in the Iporanga municipality. The blood meals of 988 engorged females were tested using the avidin-biotin immunoenzymatic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seven blood meal sources were investigated: human, dog, chicken, bovine, pig, horse and rat. Results The results showed that among the females that fed on one or more blood sources, the respective percentages for Ny. intermedia and Ny. neivai, respectively, were as follows: human (23% and 36.8%), pig (47.4% and 26.4%), chicken (25.7% and 36.8%) and dog (3.9% and 0%), and the differences in the blood sources between the two species were statistically significant (p = 0.043). Conclusions Both species had predominant reactivity for one or two blood sources, and few showed reactivity indicating three or four sources. Many different combinations were observed among the females that showed reactivity for more than one source, which indicated their opportunistic habits and eclecticism regarding anthropic environmental conditions.

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