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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


On Leishmania enriettii and Other Enigmatic Leishmania Species of the Neotropics. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1997, vol.92, n.3, pp.377-387. ISSN 0074-0276.

There are 20 named species of the genus Leishmania at present recognized in the New World, of which 14 are known to infect man. The present paper discusses the biological, biochemical and ecological features, where known, of six species which have not till now been found to cause human leishmaniasis; namely, Leishmania (Leishmania) enriettii, L. (L.) hertigi, L. (L.) deanei, L. (L.) aristidesi, L. (L.) forattinii and L. (Viannia) equatorensis. A protocol is suggested for attempts to discover the natural mammalian host(s) and sandfly vector of L. (L.) enriettii. Doubt is cast on the validity of the species L. herreri, described in Costa Rican sloths. Following the concensus of opinion that modern trypanosomatids derive from monogenetic intestinal flagellates of arthropods, phlebotomine sandflies are best regarded as the primary hosts of Leishmania species, with mammals acting as secondary hosts providing a source of parasites for these insects. There are probably natural barriers limiting the life-cycle of most leishmanial parasites to specific sandfly vectors

Keywords : neotropical Leishmania; Leishmania (Leishmania) enriettii; Leishmania (Leishmania) hertigi; Leishmania (Leishmania) deanei; Leishmania (Leishmania) aristidesi; Leishmania (Leishmania) forattinii; Leishmania (Viannia) equatorensis; Leishmania herreri.

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