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Phylogenetics of the Phlebotomine Sand Fly Group Verrucarum (Diptera: Psychodidae: Lutzomyia)

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  • Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, Kansas; Georgia Southern University, Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Statesboro, Georgia; Departmento Académico de Microbiologia Médica, Facultad de Medicina Humana, Universidad Nacional, Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru; Laboratorio de Entomología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Avenida Calle 26 No 51-60, Bogotá, Colombia; Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia; Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
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Within the sand fly genus Lutzomyia, the Verrucarum species group contains several of the principal vectors of American cutaneous leishmaniasis and human bartonellosis in the Andean region of South America. The group encompasses 40 species for which the taxonomic status, phylogenetic relationships, and role of each species in disease transmission remain unresolved. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) phylogenetic analysis of a 667-bp fragment supported the morphological classification of the Verrucarum group into series. Genetic sequences from seven species were grouped in well-supported monophyletic lineages. Four species, however, clustered in two paraphyletic lineages that indicate conspecificity—the Lutzomyia longiflocosa–Lutzomyia sauroida pair and the Lutzomyia quasitownsendiLutzomyia torvida pair. COI sequences were also evaluated as a taxonomic tool based on interspecific genetic variability within the Verrucarum group and the intraspecific variability of one of its members, Lutzomyia verrucarum, across its known distribution.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Lee W. Cohnstaedt, Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1515 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502. E-mail: Lee.Cohnstaedt@ars.usda.gov

Authors' addresses: Lee W. Cohnstaedt, Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, KS, E-mail: Lee.Cohnstaedt@ars.usda.gov. Lorenza Beati, Southern University, Institute of Arthropodology and Parasitology, Statesboro, GA, E-mail: LorenzaBeati@Georgiasouthen.edu. Abraham G. Caceres, Departmento Académico de Microbiologia Médica, Facultad de Medina Humana, Universidad Nacional, Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru and Laboratorio de Entomología, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Peru, E-mail: agcl2011@gmail.com. Cristina Ferro, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia. Leonard E. Munstermann, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, E-mail: Leonard.Munstermann@yale.edu.

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