The natural infection rate due to Leishmania was studied in three different sandfly species using the polymerase chain reaction technique. Leishmania specific primers were designed to examine whether sandfly pools were infected. In total 1,100 female sandflies separated into pools of 10 individuals, consisting of 50 pools of Lutzomyia whitmani, 43 of Lutzomyia triacantha and 17 of Lutzomyia choti, were analyzed. Among all the pools examined, four pools of Lutzomyia whitmani were positive, but none of the pools of the other two species were infected. Thus, a total infection rate of 0.4% was established in this study. A similar infection rate was found in previous studies, suggesting that Lutzomyia whitmani transmits Leishmania to mammals in Buriticupu, Maranhão.
Molecular biology; Sandflies; Leishmania; Lutzomyia whitmani