Abstract

The survival, absolute population size, gonotrophic cycle duration, and temporal and spatial abundance of Nyssomyia neivai (Pinto) were studied in a rural area endemic for American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in Conchal, São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil, using mark-release-recapture techniques and by monitoring population fluctuation. The monthly abundance exhibited a unimodal pattern, with forest and domicile habitats having the highest relative abundances. A total of 1,873 males and 3,557 females were marked and released during the six experiments, of which 4.1–13.0% of males and 4.1–11.8% of females were recaptured. Daily survivorship estimated from the decline in recaptures per day was 0.681 for males and 0.667 for females. Gonotrophic cycle duration was estimated to be 4.0 d. Absolute population size was calculated using the Lincoln Index and ranged from 861 to 4,612 males and from 2,187 to 19,739 females. The low proportion of females that reach the age when they are potentially infective suggests that N. neivai has a low biological capacity to serve as a vector and that factors such as high biting rates and opportunistic feeding behavior would be needed to enable Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis Vianna transmission. This agreed with the epidemiological pattern of ACL in southeastern Brazil that is characterized by low incidence, with isolated cases acquired principally within domiciliary habitats.

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