Epidemiological monitoring of American tegumentary leishmaniasis : molecular characterization of a peridomestic transmission cycle in the Amazonian lowlands of Bolivia
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
, p. 1208-1213
Human-made and environmental changes constitute a major risk factor for the (re-)emergence and spread of leishmaniasis; surveillance of the transmission cycle is essential in this context. This study integrated entomological and molecular parasitological techniques to document the transmission pattern of a peridomestic focus of Leishmania in the Isiboro Secure area of Bolivia. First the spatial distribution and relative density of phlebotomine sand flies, genus Lutzomyia, were established. Lutzomyia shawi was the predominant species in domestic and peridomestic environments (90% from all collections). Second, direct application of the hsp70 PCR to sand fly extracts detected Leishmania infections in Lu. shawi only, and gave an estimated infection rate of 0.21 to 0.38%. The cleavage of the hsp70 amplicon with restriction enzymes (hsp70 PCRRFLP) allowed identification of Le. (V.) braziliensis and Le. (V.) guyanensis in Lu. shawi captured in the same village. These two parasite species were also found in humans from the study region, supporting the co-existence of two transmission cycles involving the same sand fly species. This study demonstrated the use of PCRRFLP in the identification of Leishmania in sand fly pools which could lead to the development of methods for screening large sand fly populations in Latin America.