Abstract

The study of some of the behavioral aspects of the main vector of Leishmania infantum chagasi Cunha & Chagas in the Americas, Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva), such as dispersion, population size, and vector survival rates, is important for the elucidation of the mechanisms of visceral leishmaniasis transmission. These parameters were studied by means of capture-mark-release-recapture experiments in an urban area of Campo Grande municipality, an endemic area of visceral leishmaniasis, situated in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. Six capture-mark-release-recapture experiments were undertaken between November 2009 and November 2010 and once in January 2012 with a view to assessing the population size and survival rate of Lu. longipalpis. The insects were released in a peridomicile surrounded by 13 residences. The recaptures were undertaken with automatic light traps for four consecutive weeks after release in the surrounding area. In total, 3,354 sand flies were captured, marked, and released. The overall recapture rate during the capture-mark-release-recapture experiments was 4.23%, of which 92.45% were recaptured at the release site, indicating limited dispersal. The greatest distance recorded from the release site was 165 m for males and 241 m for females. The male daily survival rate, calculated on the basis of regressions from the numbers of marked recaptured insects during the 15 successive days after release was 0.897. The estimated male population size measured by the Lincoln Index was 10,947.127. Though Lu. longipalpis presented a limited dispersion the physical barriers typical of urban environments did not prevent the sand flies from flying long distances.

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