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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


ARRIVILLAGA-HENRIQUEZ, Jazzmín et al. Eco-epidemiological aspects, natural detection and molecular identification of Leishmania spp. in Lutzomyia reburra, Lutzomyia barrettoi majuscula and Lutzomyia trapidoi. Biomédica [online]. 2017, vol.37, suppl.2, pp.83-97. ISSN 0120-4157.


The province of Pichincha in Ecuador is an endemic area of cutaneous leishmaniasis, where anthropophilic sand flies with natural infection by Leishmania, have been reported as vectors. However, the role in transmission of zoophilic species has not been evaluated.


To evaluate natural infection by Leishmania in two zoophilic phlebotomine sand fly species, Lutzomyia reburra and Lu. barrettoi majuscula, and one anthropophilic species, Lu. trapidoi, as well as the endophagy and synanthropism of these species in the northwest of Pichincha.

Materials and methods:

Phlebotomines were collected using CDC light traps in different habitats and altitudes with presence of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Leishmania infection was detected using genomic DNA from females of the collected sand flies. We amplified the internal transcribed spacer gene of ribosomal RNA I (ITS1), the mitochondrial topoisomerase II gene (mtTOPOII), and the nuclear topoisomerase II gene (TopoII). Percentages of positivity for Leishmania, at spatio-temporal scale, proportion of endophagy and synanthropism index were calculated.


Natural infection was determined for Le. amazonensis in Lu. reburra (9.5%) and Lu. b. majuscula (23.8%), while in Lu. trapidoi we detected Le. amazonensis, Le. brazilienis and Le. naiffilainsoni. Phlebotomines were asynanthropic and with low endophagy.


Natural infection with Le. amazonensis was recorded for the first time in Lu. reburra and Lu. b. majuscula, demonstrating the importance of zoophilic phlebotomines in the maintenance of the Leishmania transmission cycle in endemic foci.

Keywords : Psychodidae; Leishmania; leishmaniasis, cutaneous; polymerase chain reaction; Ecuador.

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