Insecticide Barrier Spraying for the Control of Sand Fly Vectors of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Rural Guatemala

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  • Division of Communicable Diseases and Immunology, Department of Entomology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Biology, Universidad de Valle, Washington, District of Columbia, Guatemala

An initial evaluation of insecticide barrier spraying directed against sand fly vectors of cutaneous leishmaniasis was done in a nonclimax forested area with heavy undergrowth in Peten, Guatemala. A 100 m-wide swath of vegetation was sprayed once with a 1:3 mixture of cyfluthrin insecticide and a palm oil carrier using back-pack sprayers to simulate a central cantonment area in one site while another site remained as an untreated control. Prior to spraying and throughout 87 days post-treatment, sand fly populations were monitored at both sites with light traps set at ground and canopy levels at 50-m intervals radiating out from the centers of the cantonments, 150-m in the four cardinal directions. A total of 2,876 female sand flies were captured, representing 16 species. Three species, Brumptomyia galindoi, Lutzomyia panamensis, and Lu. ovallesi, comprised 70% of the total collection. The single insecticide barrier significantly reduced sand flies from reaching the cantonment area for more than 80 days, while sand fly populations outside the treated cantonment and in the untreated (control) cantonment remained high (52 sand flies in the treated cantonment versus 235 sand flies in the untreated cantonment).