Evidence for anthropophily in five species of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) from northern Colombia, revealed by molecular identification of bloodmeals.
Paternina, Luís E. | 2019-11-06
Identification of the bloodmeal sources of phlebotomine sand flies is fundamental to determining which species are anthropophilic and understanding the transmission of Leishmania parasites in natural epidemiological settings. The objective of this study was to identify sand fly bloodmeals in the mixed leishmaniasis focus of the department of Sucre, northern Colombia. In all 141 engorged female sand flies were analyzed, after being captured in intradomiciliary, peridomiciliary and extradomiciliary habitats with Shannon and CDC traps and by active searching in diurnal resting sites. Bloodmeals were identified by sequencing and analysis of a 358 bp fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome b (CYB) and a 330 bp fragment of the nuclear gene prepronociceptin (PNOC). Using both genes 105 vertebrate bloodmeals were identified, with an efficiency of 72% for CYB but only 7% for PNOC. Ten species of vertebrates were identified as providing bloodmeal sources for eight sand fly species: Homo sapiens (Lutzomyia evansi, Lu. panamensis, Lu. micropyga, Lu. shannoni and Lu. atroclavata), Equus caballus (Lu. evansi, Lu. panamensis and Lu. cayennensis cayennensis), Eq. asinus (Lu. evansi and Lu. panamensis), Bos taurus 4 (Lu. evansi, Lu. panamensis and Lu. c. cayennensis), Tamandua mexicana (Lu. shannoni and Lu. trinidadensis), Proechimys guyanensis (Lu. evansi, Lu. panamensis and Lu. c. cayennensis), Mabuya sp. (Lu. micropyga), Sus scrofa (Lu. evansi and Lu. gomezi) and Gallus gallus (Lu. evansi). Cattle, donkeys, humans and pigs were significantly more important than other animals (P = 0.0001) as hosts of Lu. evansi, this being the most abundant sand fly species. The five Lutzomyia species in which blood samples of human origin were detected included Lu. micropyga and Lu. atroclavata, constituting the first evidence of anthropophily in both species.