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Keywords:

  • Phlebotominae;
  • cutaneous leishmaniasis;
  • visceral leishmaniasis;
  • Rio de Janeiro;
  • Saquarema;
  • Atlantic Forest

ABSTRACT:

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

Cutaneous leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, is sporadic in many rural and suburban areas of Rio de Janeiro State. An investigation was carried out during 2008/9 in the Municipality of Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Southeast Brazil, in order to identify the phlebotomine sand fly fauna. More than 2,100 sand flies were collected in peridomestic areas in two chicken coops using CDC light traps. Nine species of phlebotomine sand flies were identified: Nyssomyia intermedia, Nyssomyia whitmani, Pintomyia (P.) pessoai, Pintomyia (P.) fischeri, Pintomyia (P.) bianchigalatiae, Migonemyia (M.) migonei, Lutzomyia (L.) longipalpis, Brumptomyia cunhai and Brumptomyia guimaraesi. Based on the results of this study together with related studies in other CL foci in Rio de Janeiro, both Nissomyia intermedia and Migonemyia migonei can be considered suspect vectors of the disease in the region. The potential risk of VL due to the presence of its proven vector L. longipalpis is discussed.


INTRODUCTION

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

Leishmaniasis is present with a high incidence in almost all the states of Brazil, often as a result of environmental changes resulting from human interventions that change the epidemiological profile where transmission is both natural in the zoonotic foci and periurban involving a domestic reservoir (Deane and Grimaldi 1985). According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health in the period 2000 to 2008, 236,553 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) were registered, the northern region contributing with 94,438 (36.8%), the northeast with 75,449 (36.3%), the Midwest with 37,578(14.5%), the southeast with 22,926 (10.1%) and the southern region with 6,162 (2.3%) (SUS, 2009).

Although cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has been sporadically reported in most of the State of Rio de Janeiro, it is constant in several areas with 1,921 cases reported in the last 10 years, therefore qualifying as a matter of public health interest. Two species of Leishmania are responsible for the disease, Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. In the coastal region of Saquarema, as observed in several localities in the State, it has been constantly present mainly in the rural population (Menezes et al. 1974, Brazil et al. 1989, Aguiar et al. 1993). This region has undergone intense forestry devastation in the last centuries due to the increase of new settlements spawning agricultural and cattle-raising activities. Vestiges of the primitive Atlantic Forest are still found and may be a source of infected animals and flies that maintain the CL cycle in the surrounding areas. Here, we focus on the sand fly fauna of this region and correlate the vector species with cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

Study area

The town of Saquarema is located in the coastal lowlands of the state of Rio de Janeiro (Figure 1), with an area of 353.2 km2 and a population of 52,000, of which 39,000 are urban and 13,000 are rural. Across the municipality towards the northwest to the Massif of Mato Grosso, large paths of Atlantic forest still prevail with a tropical humid climate, i.e., annual temperature range of 22° C, average maximum of 31° C in January and February, average minimum of 19° C during June and July and rainfall ranging 800–1,200 mm³ annually. The site chosen for study was the village of Rio Seco, located around the Massif of Mato Grosso, with a distance of 14 km from the headquarters town of Saquarema (22° 51’ 14’ S, 42° 29’ 27’ W), a population of low socio-economic status, active mostly in agriculture. In the area, some houses have chicken coops and pig pens with small herds of cattle in the surrounding areas. As a sample for the study, we adopted two houses located very close to the mountains where some remains of Atlantic Forest are still intact.

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Figure 1. Map of Brazil showing the location of Saquarema in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

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Captures

The captures, totaling 37 days, were carried out monthly from June 2008 to September 2009 between 17:00 and 08:00 using two CDC miniature traps (Haushers Machine Works, New Jersey, U.S.A.) with incandescent lights placed at a height of 1.5 m above the ground in two chicken coops.

Sand flies were preserved in 70% alcohol, cleared, and then mounted and identified following Galati (2003). The abbreviation of names was proposed by Marcondes (2007). For species caught, the formula of Dajoz (1973) was applied to verify the constancy of species in outdoor environments: C = P × 100 / N, where P is the number of traps where the species appears and N the total number of traps / captures. According to the Constancy Index (CI), we have the following categories: Constant (species present in 50% or more catches), Accessory (species present in 25% to 50% of the catches) and Accidental (species in less than 25% of the catches.

RESULTS

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

Nyssomyia intermedia (Lutz & Neiva, 1912), Nyssomyia whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939), Pintomyia (Pintomyia) pessoai (Coutinho & Barreto, 1940), Pintomyia (P.) fischeri (Pinto, 1926), Pintomyia (P.) bianchigalatiae (Andrade Filho, Aguiar, Dias & Falcão, 1999) Migonemyia (Migonemyia) migonei (França, 1920), Lutzomyia (Lutzomyia) longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva, 1912), Brumptomyia cunhai (Mangabeira, 1942) and Brumptomyia guimaraesi (Coutinho & Barreto, 1941) were captured. According to the Index of Constancy, Ny. intermedia, Mg. migonei and Pi. fischeri are constant species; Ny. whitmani and L. longipalpis are accessory species; Pi. pessoai, Pi. bianchigalatiae, Brumptomyia cunhai and Brumptomyia guimaraesi are accidental species. Table 1 presents the results concerning the frequency of sand flies of which predominated Nyssomyia intermedia with 1,654 specimens (77.54%), followed by Pintomyia fischeri with 323 (15.14%) and Migonemyia migonei with 72 (3.38%) . Of the total sand flies trapped, 1,283 were males and 850 females.

Table 1.  Frequency of sand flies collected in CDC light traps.
SpeciesNo.IF
Ny. intermedia1,65477.54
Pi. fischeri32315.14
Mg. migonei723.38
Ny. whitmani401.88
L. longipalpis80.38
Pi. pessoai311.45
Pi. bianchigalatiae20.09
B. cunhai20.09
B. guimaraesi10.05

DISCUSSION

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

The complex epidemiology of ACL requires flexible control strategies appropriate for each region or focus of infection. In addition, knowledge of the vectors is a great tool for understanding the transmission dynamics of this disease when considering planning for prevention and control measures

In Saquarema, there are cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis in areas near the mountain slopes where there is still residual Atlantic rainforest. The vector fauna in the fifteen months of the catch in Rio Seco consisted of nine species of Phlebotominae. The presence of Ny. intermedia was the most abundant species in the study area. This fly is a known vector of Leishmania braziliensis, the causative agent of CL in some areas of southeastern Brazil including Rio de Janeiro (Aguiar et al. 1993, Rangel et al. 1992, Meneses et al. 2002, Pita-Pereira et al. 2005).

The development of Ny. intermedia in peridomiciles may be related to environmental conditions such as vegetation consisting of many species of trees including banana trees, and the movement of livestock and chickens. It has been shown that in urban foci of ACL, domestic animals assume an important role in maintaining infection by L. braziliensis. (Falqueto et al. 1986), and although dogs are frequently infected with cutaneous leishmaniasis, their role as reservoirs is still inconclusive (Reithinger and Davies 1999). Mg. migonei was present in low frequency but was constant in peridomicile traps. Forattini (1973) refers to this species as having a seasonal pattern prone to absence in winter months. This anthropophilic species is considered as having a high affinity for domestic animals and reasonable affinity for wild animals. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that in some areas, this sand fly plays an important role in the maintenance of residual foci of sylvatic transmission (Brazil et al. 1991), an hypothesis reinforced by the presence of naturally infected flies of this species in a focus of CL in Rio de Janeiro (Pita-Pereira et al. 2005). This species may act also as vector of Leishmania species other than L. braziliensis (Salomon et al. 2010, Carvalho et al. 2007).

Regarding other anthropophilic species found in Rio Seco, we must consider the behavior of Pi. fischeri. This species attacks humans and probably uses the chicken coop as a resting place, which could justify its classification as constant in the peridomicile, as observed in other areas of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil et al. 1991). In light of our current knowledge, Pi. fischeri has a high frequency in the area of forests, mainly on tree trunks and primarily in canopies (Aguiar et al. 1989). In forested areas of Rio de Janeiro, Pi. fischeri is considered the third in frequency feeding on humans during the night. It is assumed that this species has importance in sylvatic transmission of leishmaniasis, however the high prevalence of Pi. fischeri in the forest might be related to food sources other than mammals, probably birds. Consequently, this species would be inefficient to perpetuate the wild cycle of leishmaniasis, because it is a notorious fact that birds are refractory to infection with Leishmania spp. Although it has a sylvatic habit, Pi. fischeri tended to be constant in peridomestic sites in our study area. Ny. whitmani is an important vector of Leishmania braziliensis in several regions of Brazil in the sylvatic and peridomestic environment (Souza et al. 2002) and highly anthropophilic (Brazil et al. 1991) but in the peridomicile area of Saquarema this species is only accidental and may have minor importance in the CL transmission.

Despite the low densities of L. longipalpis, this is the first report of the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in the phitogeographical region of Saquarema, RJ. In the municipality of Rio Bonito, a nearby region, L. longipalpis has already been recorded in high density (Brazil et al. 1989), but since then there has been no record of human or canine visceral leishmaniasis in this area. However, the first autochthonous canine visceral leishmaniasis in the municipality of Maricá was recently reported (de Paula et al. 2009) . This shows the potential risk of VL transmission in the continuous region of the Massif of Mato Grosso that includes Maricá, Saquarema and Rio Bonito in the costal area of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

Acknowledgments

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED

This project was partly supported by Faperj, CNPq, Capes, and FIOCRUZ.

REFERENCES CITED

  1. Top of page
  2. ABSTRACT:
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. REFERENCES CITED
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