PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170056 Full paper
Environmental suitability for Lutzomyia longipalpis in a subtropical city with a recently established visceral leishmaniasis transmission cycle, Argentina

Pablo Berrozpe1,2,5,+, Daniela Lamattina1, María Soledad Santini2,3,5, Analía Vanesa Araujo2,4,5, María Eugenia Utgés3,5, Oscar Daniel Salomón1,2,5

1Ministerio de Salud de la Nación, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Tropical, Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina
2Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Ministerio de Salud de la Nación, Centro Nacional de Diagnóstico e Investigación en Endemo-Epidemias, Administración de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Naturales y Agrimensura, Corrientes, Argentina
5Red de Investigación de la Leishmaniasis en Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina


BACKGROUND Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an endemic disease in northeastern Argentina including the Corrientes province, where the presence of the vector and canine cases of VL were recently confirmed in December 2008.

OBJECTIVES The objective of this study was to assess the modelling of micro- and macro-habitat variables to evaluate the urban environmental suitability for the spatial distribution of Lutzomyia longipalpis presence and abundance in an urban scenario.

METHODS Sampling of 45 sites distributed throughout Corrientes city (Argentina) was carried out using REDILA-BL minilight traps in December 2013. The sampled specimens were identified according to methods described by Galati (2003). The analysis of variables derived from the processing of satellite images (macro-habitat variables) and from the entomological sampling and surveys (micro-habitat variables) was performed using the statistical software R. Three generalised linear models were constructed composed of micro- and macro-habitat variables to explain the spatial distribution of the abundance of Lu. longipalpis and one composed of micro-habitat variables to explain the occurrence of the vector.

FINDINGS A total of 609 phlebotominae belonging to five species were collected, of which 56% were Lu. longipalpis. In addition, the presence of Nyssomyia neivai and Migonemya migonei, which are vectors of tegumentary leishmaniasis, were also documented and represented 34.81% and 6.74% of the collections, respectively. The explanatory variable normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) described the abundance distribution, whereas the presence of farmyard animals was important for explaining both the abundance and the occurrence of the vector.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS The results contribute to the identification of variables that can be used to establish priority areas for entomological surveillance and provide an efficient transfer tool for the control and prevention of vector-borne diseases.

Financial support: Ministerio de Salud de la Nación and the Ministerio Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología y Innovación Productiva (PICTO-2011-0161).
+ Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Received 7 February 2017
Accepted 27 April 2017


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