The potential of Gafanhoto Park as an American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) focus was evaluated by examination of sand fly vectors of the Leishmania parasite. This forest remnant is located in a periurban area of Divinópolis, Brazil, where autochthonous cases of ACL have been reported. Sand fly populations were monitored over a 2-yr period (2006–2008) by using light traps (HP and Shannon). During systematic collections with HP traps, 824 specimens in total (342 males and 482 females) of 21 species were captured. Most prevalent species were as follows: Brumptomyia brumpti (Larrouse), Lutzomyia aragaoi (Costa Lima), Lutzomyia lutziana (Costa Lima), Lutzomyia sordellii (Shannon & Del Ponte), and Lutzomyia whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho). Using Shannon traps, 257 specimens representing 15 species were collected (159 females and 98 males), with a high prevalence of L. whitmani and Lutzomyia neivai (Pinto), both vectors of Leishmania braziliensis (Vianna). To ascertain the level of natural infection, a sample of females captured in Shannon traps was assayed for the presence of Leishmania by using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism, where 39% of insects were positive. The most infected species was L. whitmani (29 sand flies; 18.2%), followed by L. neivai (21; 13.2%), Lutzomyia christenseni (Young & Duncan) (five; 3.1%), Lutzomyia pessoai (Coutinho & Barreto) (three; 1.9%), L. aragaoi (one; 0.6%), Lutzomyia fischeri (Pinto) (one; 0.6%), Lutzomyia lenti (Mangabeira) (one; 0.6%), L. lutziana (one; 0.6%), and Lutzomyia monticula (Costa Lima) (one; 0.6%). The finding of potential and incriminated vectors naturally infected with Leishmania reinforces the need of epidemiologic surveillance in the area.
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Vol. 47 • No. 6