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Revista Pan-Amazônica de Saúde

versão impressa ISSN 2176-6215versão On-line ISSN 2176-6223

Rev Pan-Amaz Saude v.2 n.1 Ananindeua mar. 2011 



First report of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) yuilli yuilli Young & Porter, 1972 (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Roraima State, Brazil



Jaime de Liege Gama NetoI; Janderson Melo BaimaII; Mahedy Araujo Bastos PassosIII

IMuseu Integrado de Roraima, Universidade Estadual de Roraima, Roraima, Brasil
IIMuseu Integrado de Roraima, Boa Vista, Roraima, Brasil
IIICoordenação de Pesquisas em Botânica, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil

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The first report of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) yuilli yuilli Young & Porter, 1972 (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Roraima State, Brazil is presented. The specimens were captured in the Auaris indigenous community, on the border with Venezuela, with CDC light traps set up in henhouses between 18 h and 6 h. L. yuilli yuilli is the only vector of Leishmania spp. currently known in Auaris and may be involved in the transmission of Leishmania spp. to humans in the area.

Keywords: Psychodidae; Insect Vectors; Epidemiological Surveillance; Indigenous Population; Leishmania.



Phlebotomine sand flies of the genus Lutzomyia Franca, 1924 are medically important because several species are vectors of parasites of the genus Leishmania Ross, 1903, the etiological agents of human leishmaniasis in the New World1.

Although knowledge of phlebotomines is important for planning and developing the epidemiological surveillance and control of leishmaniasis, studies on the geographical distribution and identification of Leishmania vectors in Roraima State are scarce, especially in indigenous areas, with the exception of the studies by Guerra et al2 on the presence of Lutzomyia longipalpis Lutz & Neiva, 1912 in the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian reservation.

The region of Auaris, which is covered by a dense tropical forest, is located in the northernmost tip of Brazil, in the municipality of Amajari, Roraima State (4o00'10" N and 64o29'21" W). Auaris is situated within the Parima and Pacaraima mountain ranges, which delimit the Orinoco and Amazon basins and, consequently, define the border between Brazil and Venezuela3. Access to the area is limited, and no information on Leishmania and phlebotomine species is available for the region.

According to the Fundação Nacional de Saúde (Brazil's National Health Foundation), Section Roraima (FUNASA/RR), Auaris is an endemic region for American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) and has a population of 1,953 Yanomami Indians living in 30 communities.

Sand flies were captured by FUNASA/RR technicians in March 2009, with CDC light traps set up in peridomestic henhouses for five consecutive days, from 18 h to 6 h of the following day.

The samples collected were identified according to the classification proposed by Young and Duncan4 and were deposited in the invertebrate collection of the Museu Integrado de Roraima (MIRR).

A total of 23 Lutzomyia specimens were captured, including three females of L. yuilli yuilli, an anthropophilic species of the subgenus Nyssomyia, which hosts several known Leishmania spp. vectors. The remaining specimens belonged to L. aragaoi Costa Lima, 1932, L. dendrophyla Mangabeira, 1942 and L. rorotaensis Floch & Abonnenc, 1944.

L. yuilli yuilli is a species of peridomestic habits, with known distribution to Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela5,6,4. It is found in tree trunks, tabular roots and canopies, in areas surrounding forests and outbuildings with domestic animals7.

In Colombia, L. yuilli yuilli is of known medical importance as a vector of Leishmania and has been found naturally infected with Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis Lainson & Shaw, 19728.

In Brazil, records in the states of Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia and São Paulo9,10,4 show that L. yuilli yuilli has been frequently observed biting humans, both peridomestically and intradomestically11, and has previously been found naturally infected with unidentified flagellates similar to Leishmania12.

In Bahia State, specimens of L. yuilli yuilli from the region of Três Braços, where the species is common, were experimentally infected by Leishmania (Leishmania) foratinni Yoshida et al, 1993, a parasite also found in the states of São Paulo, Bahia and Espírito Santo13. Lainson and Shaw1 warn that even though there is no record of human infection with L. (L.) foratinni, L. yuilli yuilli occasionally feeds on humans; therefore, if this species is the actual vector of L. foratinni among animal reservoirs, then human infection may also occur.

Given the lack of knowledge about Leishmania and phlebotomine species involved in the transmission of ATL in Auaris and that L. yuilli yuilli is the only vector species currently known in this indigenous area, this report represents an important finding. Moreover, additional studies are required to determine the natural infection rates of L. yuilli yuilli by Leishmania spp. and the possible involvement of this sand fly species in the epidemiology of ATL in the region.

This report of L. yuilli yuilli in Auaris extends the distribution range of the species and increases the number of Lutzomyia species recorded in Roraima State to 79.



1 Lainson R, Shaw JJ. New World leishmaniasis. In: Cox FEG, Kreier JP, Wakelin D, editors. Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Parasitology. London: Topley & Wilson's. 2005. p. 313-49.

2 Guerra JAO, Barros MLB, Fé NF, Guerra MVF, Castellon E, Paes MG, et al. Leishmaniose visceral entre indios no Estado de Roraima, Brasil. Aspectos clínicoepidemiológicos de casos observados no periodo de 1989 a 1993. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2004 jul-ago;37(4):305-11. Doi:10.1590/S0037-86822004000400004  [Link]

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5 Sandoval CM, Gutiérrez R, Cárdenas R, Ferro C. Especies de género Lutzomyia (Psychodidae, Phlebotominae) en áreas de transmisión de leishmaniasis tegumentaria y visceral en el departamento de Santander, en la cordillera oriental de los Andes colombianos. Biomédica. 2006;26 (Suppl 1):S218-S27. [Link]

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7 Aguiar GM, Medeiros WM. Distribuição regional e habitats das espécies de flebotomíneos do Brasil. In: Rangel EF, Lainson R, editores. Flebotomíneos do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: FIOCRUZ; 2003. p. 207-55.

8 Santamaría E, Ponce N, Zipa Y, Ferro C. Presencia en el peridomicilio de vectores infectados con Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis en dos focos endémicos en el occidente de Boyacá, piedemonte del valle del Magdalena medio, Colombia. Biomédica. 2006 oct;26 (Suppl 1):S82-S94. [Link]

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13 Barretto AC, Peterson NE, Lago E, Rosa ACOC, Braga RSM, Cuba CAC, et al. Leishmania mexicana in Proechimys iheringi denigratus Moojen (Rodentia, Echimyidae) in a region endemic for American cutaneous leishmaniasis. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 1985 Oct-Dec;18(4):243-6. [Link]



Correspondência /Correspondence / Correspondencia:
Jaime de Liege Gama Neto
Universidade Estadual de Roraima
Coordenação de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde
Rua sete de Setembro, n° 231, Bairro: Canarinho
Boa Vista - Roraima - Brasil

Tel:.+55 (95) 2121-0928

Recebido em / Received / Recibido en: 27/4/2011
Aceito em / Accepted / Aceito en: 4/5/2011