Diversity, natural infection and blood meal sources of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera, Psychodidae) in the western Brazilian Amazon


Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz




BACKGROUND The state of Rondônia (RO) is a hot spot for human cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Many sandfly species in RO are putative vectors of leishmaniasis. OBJECTIVES This study examines the diversity patterns and the presence of Leishmania DNA and blood meal sources of sandflies in RO. METHODS A sandfly survey was performed between 2016 and 2018 in 10 municipalities categorised into three different environment types: (i) Conservation Unit (CUN) - comprised of preserved ombrophilous forests; (ii) Forest Edge (FE) - small forest fragments; and (iii) Peridomicile (PE) - areas around dwellings. FINDINGS A total of 73 species were identified from 9,535 sandflies. The most abundant species were Psychodopygus davisi (1,741 individuals), Nyssomyia antunesi (1,397), Trichophoromyia auraensis (1,295) and Trichophoromyia ubiquitalis (1,043). Diversity was the highest in CUN, followed by the FE and PE environments. One pool of Ps. davisi tested positive for Leishmania braziliensis, reinforcing the possibility that Ps. davisi acts as a vector. The cytochrome b (cytb) sequences were used to identify three blood meal sources: Bos taurus, Homo sapiens and Tamandua tetradactyla. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Our results demonstrated that sandflies can switch between blood meal sources in differing environments. This study enhances the knowledge of the vector life cycle in RO and provides information relevant to leishmaniasis surveillance.

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