First report of Warileya rotundipennis (Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) naturally infected with Leishmania (Viannia) in a focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Colombia

Acta Trop. 2015 Aug;148:191-6. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.04.017. Epub 2015 Apr 25.


The expansion of transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis from sylvatic ecosystems into peri-urban and domestic settings has occurred as sand flies have adapted to anthropogenic environmental modifications. Assessment of the intradomiciliary presence of sand flies in households of the settlement "La Cabaña", in the Department of Risaralda, Colombia, revealed an abundance of Warileya rotundipennis. This unexpected observation motivated further analyses to evaluate the participation of this species in the transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Collections using CDC light traps were conducted during two consecutive nights in May and August 2011.The total of 667 sand flies collected were classified into five species: W. rotundipennis (n=654; 98.05%), Nyssomyia trapidoi (n=7; 1.04%); Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) hartmanni (n=3; 0.44%); Lutzomyia lichyi (n=2; 0.29%) and Psychodopygus panamensis (n=1; 0.14%). The striking predominance of W. rotundipennis within households during both wet (May) and dry (August) seasons, anthropophilic behavior demonstrated by human blood in 95.23% (60/63) evaluable blood-engorged specimens, and natural infection (5/168-3%) with genetically similar parasites of the Leishmania (Viannia) subgenus observed in a patient in this community, support the involvement of W. rotundipennis in the domestic transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis in "La Cabaña".

Keywords: Domestic transmission; La Cabaña; Leishmania (Viannia); Warileya rotundipennis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colombia
  • Humans
  • Leishmania / genetics
  • Leishmania / isolation & purification*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / parasitology*
  • Psychodidae / classification
  • Psychodidae / parasitology*
  • Seasons