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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 858657, 5 pages
Research Article

Studies on the Feeding Habits of Lutzomyia (Lutzomyia) longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva, 1912) (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) Populations from Endemic Areas of American Visceral Leishmaniasis in Northeastern Brazil

1Laboratório de Transmissores de Leishmanioses, Laboratório de Referência em Vigilância Entomológica, Taxonomia e Ecologia de Vetores das Leishmanioses do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Avenida Brasil, 4365, 21040-360 Manguinhos, RJ, Brazil
2Laboratório de Pesquisa e Serviços em Saúde Pública, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sérgio Arouca, FIOCRUZ, Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480, 21041-210 Manguinhos, RJ, Brazil
3Laboratório de Imunoparasitologia, Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, FIOCRUZ, Rua Valdemar Falcão, 121, 40296-710 Salvador, BA, Brazil
4Laboratório de Vetores, Reservatórios e Animais Peçonhentos Dr. Thomaz Aragão SESA/CE, Rua dos Tabajaras, 268, Praia de Iracema, Fortaleza, 60060-510 CE, Brazil

Received 15 August 2011; Revised 24 October 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011

Academic Editor: Marcelo Ramalho-Ortigao

Copyright © 2012 Margarete Martins dos Santos Afonso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to identify potential blood feeding sources of L. (L.) longipalpis specimens from populations in Northeastern Brazil, endemic areas of American Visceral Leishmaniasis (AVL) and its correlation with the transmission of L. (L.) i. chagasi. The ELISA technique was applied using bird, dog, goat, opossum, equine, feline, human, sheep, and rodent antisera to analyze 609 females, resulting in an overall positivity of 60%. In all municipalities, females showed higher positivity for bird followed by dog antiserum and sand fly specimens were also positive for equine, feline, human, sheep, goat, opossum, and rodent antisera. The finding for 17 combinations of two or three types of blood in some females corroborates the opportunistic habit of this sand fly species. The results demonstrating the association between L. (L.) longipalpis and opossum suggest the need for further evaluation of the real role of this synanthropic mammal in the eco-epidemiology of AVL.