Sandflies in an endemic area for Visceral Leishmaniasis in Northeastern Brazil

Abstract Phlebotomines of the genus Lutzomyia are important vector for species of Leishmania, the etiological agent of leishmaniasis. The aim of this study was to assess the diversity of sandflies in an endemic area for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL). Sampling was performed in four localities on the coast of the municipality of Goiana, state of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. Specimens were collected monthly on three consecutive nights, from November 2017 to October 2018. CDC light traps were installed at a height of 1.5 m above the ground, in two ecotypes (i.e. tree and animal facility), both in peridomestic areas. A total of 5,205 sandflies were collected, among which the species Lutzomyia longipalpis (99.85%; 5,197/5,205) was the most common, followed by Lutzomyia evandroi (0.13%; 07/5,205) and Lutzomyia whitmani (0.02%; 01/5,205). Specimens of L. longipalpis were collected throughout the study period and most of them were found near to the animal facilities. The findings from this research indicate that vectors for Leishmania infantum are present in the study area throughout the year, along with occurrences of vectors relating to Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL). Preventive vector control measures need to be implemented in Goiana to reduce the risk of infection for the human and animal populations.