Leishmaniasis in Colombia. I. Studies on the Phlebotomine Fauna Associated with Endemic Foci in the Pacific Coast Region

Bruno L. TraviTulane University International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program-Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Médicas-Tulane University-COLCIENCIAS, Apartado Aéreo 5390, Cali, Colombia

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James MontoyaTulane University International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program-Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Médicas-Tulane University-COLCIENCIAS, Apartado Aéreo 5390, Cali, Colombia

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Yezid SolarteTulane University International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program-Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Médicas-Tulane University-COLCIENCIAS, Apartado Aéreo 5390, Cali, Colombia

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Lyda LozanoTulane University International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program-Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Médicas-Tulane University-COLCIENCIAS, Apartado Aéreo 5390, Cali, Colombia

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Consuelo JaramilloTulane University International Collaboration in Infectious Diseases Research Program-Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Médicas-Tulane University-COLCIENCIAS, Apartado Aéreo 5390, Cali, Colombia

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Studies on the phlebotomine fauna related to the leishmaniasis endemic foci of the Colombian Pacific Coast were carried out in the municipalities of Tumaco and Buenaventura. In Inguapí del Guadual, Tumaco, Lutzomyia trapidoi and Lu. gomezi were the predominant anthropophilic species; Lu. panamensis and Lu. hartmanni were less frequent. In Bajo Calima, Buenaventura, Lu. trapidoi represented over 94% of the anthropophilic sandflies. Continuous sampling from 1800 to 0600 hours in Inguapí del Guadual demonstrated that Lu. trapidoi bites mainly at dusk and dawn whereas Lu. gomezi remains active throughout the night. In Inguapí del Guadual, promastigotes were found in 0.1% (2/2, 305) of Lu. trapidoi, 0.2% (3/140) of Lu. gomezi, and 0.2% (1/424) of Lu. panamensis samples collected. In Bajo Calima, 1.9% (8/429) of Lu. trapidoi were found to be infected. Leishmania braziliensis panamensis, the most common Leishmania subspecies in the human population of this endemic focus, was isolated from 1 Lu. trapidoi from Inguapí del Guadual. Parasitological and entomological findings suggest that Lu. trapidoi could be the main vector of Leishmania in these areas, although Lu. gomezi and Lu. panamensis were also predominant.

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