Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Investigations on pathogens and parasites in larval blackflies in and near the Guatemalan areas of endemic onchocerciasis were made from September 1978 to March 1979. Two mermithids ( sp. and sp.), eight microsporidans (, two spp., and two spp.), a fungus ( sp.) and two viruses (iridescent virus and cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus) were found. Mermithids, microsporidans, and fungi infected, respectively 2.4, 1.2, and 0.2% of 23,346 blackfly larvae. Nineteen of 23 simuliid species examined harbored one or more groups of parasites. Mermithids infected one species of , one of , and eight of , Microsporidans parasitized one species of and 13 of , while sp. infected one of and four of . Iridescent virus infection was recognized in three species of , and cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus only in . Mermithid, microsporidan, and fungal infection levels for the three onchocerciasis vectors varied considerably. did not harbor mermithids, whereas and frequently did so, with incidences of 8.9% in 27 of 51 habitats and 4.9% in 11 of 32 habitats, respectively. Microsporidan infections (always at low incidence) were found in all three vectors. Microsporidiosis was rare in but common in and . Fungal infection was found in 0.04% of but not in the other two species.


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