The natural infection of sand flies by Leishmania species was studied in the Andean areas of Peru where cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia) peruviana is endemic. Sand flies were captured by human bait and Center for Disease Control (CDC) light trap catches at Nambuque and Padregual, Department of La Libertad, Peru, and morphologically identified. Among 377 female sand flies dissected, the two dominant man-biting species were Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) peruensis (211 flies) and Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) caballeroi (151 flies). Another sand fly species captured by light trap was Warileya phlebotomanica (15 flies). The natural infection of sand flies by flagellates was detected in 1.4% of Lu. (H.) peruensis and 2.6% of Lu. (H.) caballeroi, and the parasite species were identified as Le. (V.) peruviana and Trypanosoma avium, respectively, by molecular biological methods. The results indicated that the vector species responsible for the transmission of leishmaniasis in the study areas is Lu. (H.) peruensis. In addition, the presence of Trypanosoma in man-biting sand fly species means that more careful consideration is necessary for vector research in areas of Andean Peru where leishmaniasis is endemic.
- Sand fly