Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Print version ISSN 0074-0276
RANASINGHE, Shalindra et al. A morphologically distinct Phlebotomus argentipes population from active cutaneous leishmaniasis foci in central Sri Lanka. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2012, vol.107, n.3, pp. 402-409. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762012000300016.
Although the reported aetiological agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Sri Lanka is Leishmania donovani, the sandfly vector remains unknown. Ninety-five sandflies, 60 females and 35 males, collected in six localities in the district of Matale, central Sri Lanka, close to current active transmission foci of CL were examined for taxonomically relevant characteristics. Eleven diagnostic morphological characters for female sandflies were compared with measurements described for Indian and Sri Lankan sandflies, including the now recognised Phlebotomus argentipes sensu lato species complex. The mean morphometric measurements of collected female sandflies differed significantly from published values for P. argentipes morphospecies B, now re-identified as Phlebotomus annandalei from Delft Island and northern Sri Lanka, from recently re-identified P. argentipes s.s. sibling species and from Phlebotomus glaucus. Furthermore, analysis of underlying variation in the morphometric data through principal component analysis also illustrated differences between the population described herein and previously recognised members of the P. argentipes species complex. Collectively, these results suggest that a morphologically distinct population, perhaps most closely related to P. glaucus of the P. argentipess. I. species complex, exists in areas of active CL transmission. Thus, research is required to determine the ability of this population of flies to transmit cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Keywords : cutaneous leishmaniasis; distinct Phlebotomus argentipes population; putative vector; Sri Lanka.