Lutzomyia evandroi in a New Area of Occurrence of Leishmaniasis



Sand flies are vectors of medical and veterinary concern, responsible for the transmission of Leishmania parasites. These invertebrates are widely distributed throughout the world and their abundance and diversity is dependent on several biotic and physical factors. Based on the epidemiological importance of these insects, the aim of this study was to assess the sand fly fauna of a new area of occurrence of leishmaniasis.


From October 2018 to September 2019, samplings were performed using CDC light traps at six different collection points located in a high altitude area in the municipality of Garanhuns, Northeastern Brazil. Geographic coordinates were recorded using the satellite remote sensing Global Positioning System (GPS) Garmin Etrex20. The spatial distribution of sand flies was evaluated using kernel density estimation (KDE). Engorged females (n = 12) were molecularly processed to search for Leishmania DNA.


A total of 138 sand fly specimens were collected during the study period, with 100% (138/138) identified as Lutzomyia evandroi. Climatic conditions did not influence the number of sand flies (males and females) collected monthly, but a statistically significant difference was observed between the number of specimens and different collections points. The kernel map showed a heterogeneous spatial distribution of sand flies in the municipality of Garanhuns with a hotspot in the south of the region.


Data presented herein are pivotal in filling the gap on the epidemiology of leishmaniasis in this high altitude area, serving as an alert to local health authorities. It also indicated that the putative role of L. evandroi in the transmission of Leishmania parasites should be clarified.

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This article is based on a Masters dissertation (Postgraduate Program in Animal Bioscience), developed at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, with support from a fellowship from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). The authors would like thanking Dr. Carlos A.S. Leal (Federal Rural University of Pernambuco) for his support on the molecular analysis.

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Correspondence to Carlos Roberto Cruz Ubirajara Filho.

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Ubirajara Filho, C.R.C., da Silva Sales, K.G., Lima, T.A.R.F. et al. Lutzomyia evandroi in a New Area of Occurrence of Leishmaniasis. Acta Parasit. 65, 716–722 (2020).

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  • Sand fly
  • Leishmania
  • High altitude
  • Epidemiology