Influence of vertebrate blood meals on the development of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in the sand fly Lutzomyia migonei (Diptera: Psychodidae).

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  • 1 Laboratory of Medical Entomology, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou-Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The effect of blood meals from humans and seven domestic, wild, or laboratory animals (dogs, horses, chickens, rats, opossums, mice, and hamsters) on the development of Leishmania braziliensis and L. amazonensis was studied in the sand fly Lutzomyia migonei. The development of L. braziliensis and L. amazonensis exhibited peripylarian and suprapylarian patterns of development, respectively, in the sand fly gut with all blood meals tested. The blood meal sources influenced the infection rate of the sand flies. In both the Leishmania species, the highest parasite density was obtained with blood from wild rats followed by skunk, human, and horse. The epidemiological significance of these observations may be related to the distribution of leishmaniasis and needs to be evaluated further.