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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Mar;97(2):185-8.

Frequency of infection of Lutzomyia phlebotomines with Leishmania braziliensis in a Brazilian endemic area as assessed by pinpoint capture and polymerase chain reaction.

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Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 40295-001, Salvador, BA, Brasil.


Leishmania infected of Lutzomyia spp. are rare in endemic areas. We tested the hypothesis that there is clustering of infected vectors by combining pinpoint capture with sensitive L. braziliensis kDNA minicircle specific PCR/dot blot in an endemic area in the State of Bahia. Thirty out of 335 samples (10 to 20 sand flies/sample; total of 4,027 female sand flies) were positive by PCR analysis and dot blot leading to a underestimated overall rate of 0.4% positive phlebotomines. However, 83.3% of the positive samples were contributed by a single sector out of four sectors of the whole studied area. This resulted in a rate of 1.5% Leishmania positive phlebotomines for this sector, far above rates of other sectors. Incidence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis cases for this sector was about twice that for other sectors. Our results show that there is a non-homogeneous distribution of Leishmania-infected vectors. Such a clustering may have implications in control strategies against leishmaniasis, and reinforces the necessity of understanding the ecological and geographical factors involved in leishmanial transmission.

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