Preliminary information on sandflies in the north of Paraná State, Brazil



Ueslei TeodoroI; Demilson R dos SantosII; Ademar R dos SantosII; Otílio de OliveiraII; Luís Paschoal PoianiII; Allan Martins da SilvaIII; Herintha Coeto NeitzkeIV; Wuelton Marcelo MonteiroIV; Maria V Campana LonardoniI; Thaís G Verzignassi SilveiraI

IDepartamento de Análises Clínicas. Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Maringá, PR, Brasil
IINúcleo de Entomologia de Maringá. XV Regional de Saúde. Secretaria de Saúde do Paraná. Maringá, PR, Brasil
IIISeção de Ação sobre o Meio. XIX Regional de Saúde. Secretaria de Estado da Saúde do Paraná. Jacarezinho, PR, Brasil
IVCurso de Farmácia. Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Maringá, PR, Brasil





The results from sandfly collections in 10 municipalities in Paraná State, Brazil are reported. The captures were done using Falcão traps in homes, domestic animal shelters and forested areas, from 1999 to 2002. A total of 13,653 sandflies were collected from 10 species of the genera Brumptomyia, Expapillata, Evandromyia, Migonemyia, Pintomyia, Nyssomyia and Psathyromyia. The species Nyssomyia neivai was predominant in five municipalities. N. whitmani predominated in the other five, in greater numbers than for N. neivai in the first five municipalities. High frequencies of sand flies were found in forests, homes, pigpens and henhouses. Investigations on the participation of domestic animals and phlebotomine fauna in the epidemiology of tegumentary leishmaniasis should be routine in health surveillance, especially where this disease is endemic.

Keywords: Leishmaniasis, cutaneous, epidemiology. Psychodidae. Phlebotominae. Paraná.




The prevalence of American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) has been increasing in Latin America over the 20 years, especially in Brazil. It is present in all Brazilian states, and affects people of all ages and both sexes. In Paraná State, ATL is endemic and occurs in 276 of the 399 municipalities in this state. Between 1980 and 2003, 12,304 cases of the disease were recorded in southern Brazil, of which 12,220 (99.3%) were in Paraná,* occurring in the majority of the municipalities, especially those in the northern and western parts of the state.

The results from investigations carried out in Paraná3,4 have shown that Pintomyia fischeri, Nyssomyia intermedia, Migonemyia migonei, Pintomyia pessoai and Nyssomyia whitmani are the sandfly (phlebotomine) species most frequently found, among which N. whitmani and N. intermedia s.l. are prominent. Thus, there is predominance of one or both of these two species, according to the characteristics of the environments and the methods used in the investigations.

Among the five most abundant species of sandflies observed in Paraná, four have been shown to present natural infection by protozoa of the genus Leishmania in other regions of Brazil. Thus, infection of N. intermedia and M. migonei has given evidence of the vector potential of these diptera. Recently, infection of N. whitmani by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis has been proven in Paraná.2

Investigations on the participation of domestic animals and phlebotomine fauna in the epidemiology of ATL ought to form part of the routine for health services, especially in the areas where the disease is endemic. Thus, the objectives of the present work were to collect and identify sandflies from areas that are foci for ATL, and from this to gain preliminary knowledge about this fauna, and its frequency within homes, areas surrounding homes and forest environments.



The collecting of sandflies was done in municipalities within the central northern mesoregion (Colorado, Lobato, Mandaguaçu, Mandaguari, Marialva, Maringá, Munhoz de Melo, Nova Esperança and Santa Fé) and central western mesoregion (Fênix) of Paraná, located between 51º30'W and 52º30'W and between 22º30'S and 24ºS.

Rural locations within these municipalities were selected for capturing sandfly specimens. These were localities where several cases of ATL had been recorded, thus constituting foci of the disease.

The sandflies were captured within the following ecotopes: banana plantations, sheds for rearing silkworms, dog kennels, cattle, goat and sheep shelters, henhouses, garages, forests, pigpens, orchards and homes. Falcão traps were set up for one or two nights per locality, between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight, on a variety of dates between July 1999 and September 2002 (Table). The number of traps per locality varied according to which of the above ecotopes existed, and their quantities. For this reason, at a single locality, it was possible to have more than one trap set up within the same ecotope. For example, at the farm Fazenda Água Azul, in the municipality of Fênix (Table), the captures were carried out on 23 separate nights: eight nights between July 1999 and November 2000, from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (total of 24 hours), and 15 nights between January and June 2000, from 9:00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. (total of 60 hours). The phlebotomine species were identified in the laboratories of the Núcleo de Entomologia da 15.ª Regional de Saúde de Maringá (Entomology Center of the 15th Regional Health District of Paraná, in the city of Maringá) and in the Parasitologia Básica da Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Basic Parasitology Laboratory of the Universidade Estadual de Maringá).

The nomenclature for the species follows Galati.1



The phlebotomine species collected were Brumptomyia brumpti, Expapillata firmatoi, Evandromyia cortelezzii, Migonemyia migonei, Pintomyia fischeri, Pintomyia pessoai, Nyssomyia neivai, Nyssomyia whitmani, Psathyromyia shannoni and Pintomyia monticola (Table).

N. whitmani, N. neivai, M. migonei and P. fischeri together represented 98.5% of the sandflies captured. The greatest mean number of sandflies collected per hour (MH) was in the municipality of Mandaguari, at the smallholding Sítio Flor de Maio (MH=764.3). In the municipalities of Marialva (Sítio Leonarda Galdione) and Colorado (Sítio Paraná), the MH was 672.5 and 402.8 specimens collected, respectively. N. whitmani and N. neivai were the species most frequently found, representing 62.9% and 20.1%, respectively, of the sandflies captured. In the municipality of Colorado, at the locality Água do Cedro, there was predominance of N. whitmani in one collection and N. neivai in another. The same occurred in the municipality of Mandaguaçu, but in different localities. In this municipality, N. whitmani predominated at the smallholdings São José, São João and Flor de Maio, while at the smallholding Lombo da Égua, N. neivai was predominant. In the municipality of Marialva, N. whitmani predominated in all localities. The same was found in the municipality of Maringá, except in the Conjunto Thaís district (on the urban outskirts), where N. neivai was predominant. In various localities in the municipalities of Munhoz de Melo, Nova Esperança and Santa Fé, there was predominance of N. neivai. In Mandaguari (Sítio Flor de Maio) and on one night in Marialva (Sítio Leonarda Galdione), the second commonest species was P. fischeri. In Maringá (Fazenda Araribóia), N. whitmani was predominant, followed by M. migonei.

In the municipalities of Colorado, Mandaguaçu (Sítio Alto Alegre), Maringá (Fazenda Araribóia) and Nova Esperança (Chácara São Pedro) there was greatest concentration of sandflies in the forest. In the municipalities of Mandaguari (São João and Flor de Maio smallholdings), Maringá (Reunidos smallholdings) and Santa Fé (Café Acácia), there was greatest concentration of sandflies in the pigpens. In the municipalities of Lobato (Fazenda Remanso), Marialva (Sítio Miyamoto), Munhoz de Melo (Sítio do Jaime) and Nova Esperança (Fazenda Santo Antonio), the sandflies were concentrated more in homes. In Marialva (Sítio Leonarda Galdione), there was greater capture of sandflies in the pigpen on one night and in the home on another night.



In all the rural localities studied, several cases of ATL involving women, children and dogs had been recorded, which gives rise to the hypothesis that infection was occurring in the home and in the area surrounding the home. Moreover, the environmental characteristics may have favored infection by Leishmania, since it is very common in such localities for the home and its outhouses (henhouses, pigsties, barns and others) to be close to remnant forests, where enzootic foci of Leishmania may still persist.

The sandflies were captured in greatest numbers in homes, forests and pigpens. The fact that these ecotopes are the commonest ones in the localities investigated may have contributed towards these results. At the farm Fazenda Remanso (municipality of Lobato) and in the Conjunto Thaís district of Maringá, where the majority of the sandflies were captured in homes, there were no domestic animals during the collection period. At the smallholdings Miyamoto and Leonarda Galdione (municipality of Mandaguari), the homes are very close to pigpens, within an environmental context of great neglect with regard to the cleanliness of the yards and shelters for the domestic animals. This is perhaps why a large number of sandflies was captured inside these homes. In previous investigations in northern Paraná, it was seen that the greatest numbers of sandflies were collected from shelters for domestic animals, in a neglected environment around the home, where the soil was damp, rich in organic matter and shaded.3,4 Large numbers of specimens were also captured inside homes, when these were located close to the shelters for domestic animals.

The species N. neivai was predominant in Lobato, Mandaguaçu, Munhoz de Melo, Nova Esperança and Santa Fé. N. whitmani was predominant in the remaining municipalities. However, the latter species was present in much larger numbers than the former. This predominance leads to the belief that N. neivai occurs more frequently in areas with well-drained, sandier soils derived from the Caiuá sandstone. On the other hand, N. whitmani occurs more frequently in areas of red and red-yellow latosol or nitosol, which retain more moisture. The prevalence of N. whitmani in some places and N. neivai in others, and the high frequency of sandflies in shelters for domestic animals and in nearby homes, are facts that have already been observed in northern Paraná.4,5

The presence or absence of domestic animals in the areas surrounding the home and the distance of the animal shelters from the home may be a determining factor for the quantity of sandflies in the home. The frequency and density of sandflies in and around homes in northern Paraná depends on the presence of forest and its distance from the domestic environments.

In conclusion, ten phlebotomine species have so far been recorded at ATL foci; there is alternation between the predominance of N. whitmani and N. neivai; and there is high frequency of these insects in the home environment, shelters for domestic animals, especially pigpens, and the forest remnants at these localities.



To Fundação Nacional de Saúde, for the logistics support during the fieldwork.



1. Galati EAB. Morfologia e Taxonomia. In: Rangel EF, Lainson R, organizadores. Flebotomíneos do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Fiocruz; 2003. p. 23-51.        

2. Luz E, Membrive N, Castro EA, Dereure J, Pratlong J, Dedet A, et al. Lutzomyia whitmani (díptera: psychodidae) as vector of leishmania (V.) braziliensis in Paraná state, southern Brazil. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2000;94(6):623-31.        

3. Teodoro U, Silveira TGV, Santos DR, Santos ES, Santos AR, Oliveira O, et al. Freqüência da fauna de flebotomíneos no domicílio e em abrigos de animais domésticos no peridomicílio, nos municípios de Cianorte e Doutor Camargo - estado do Paraná - Brasil. Rev Patol Trop. 2001;30(2):209-33.        

4. Teodoro U, Silveira TGV, Santos DR, Santos ES, Santos AR, Oliveira O, et al. Influência da reorganização, da limpeza do peridomicílio e a da desinsetização de edificações na densidade populacional de flebotomíneos no Município de Doutor Camargo, estado do Paraná, Brasil. Cad Saúde Pública. 2003;19(6):1801-13.        



Ueslei Teodoro
Universidade Estadual de Maringá - DAC
Av. Colombo, 5790
87020-900 Maringá, PR, Brasil

Received: 12/4/2004. Reviewed: 11/3/2005. Approved: 11/28/2005.
Funded by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq _ Grant no. 400227/99-1) and Fundação Araucária.



* Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria da Vigilância Sanitária. Leishmaniose tegumentar americana: distribuição de casos confirmados, por unidade federada, Brasil, 1980-2003. Available at URL: [2005, Aug 4].

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo São Paulo - SP - Brazil