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Sand Flies: Medical Importance

  • Wagner Alexandre Costa
  • Nataly A. Souza
Chapter

Abstract

Phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera, Psychodidae, Phlebotominae) are small Diptera that appeared in the Cretaceous, approximately 120–135 million years ago (Hennig 1972; Azar et al. 1999); they represent a group of approximately 1000 known species around the world, of which 530 were found in the Americas (Shimabukuro et al. 2017). They carry trypanosomatid protozoans, including species from the Leishmania genus. These can affect human health, contaminate domestic animals, and make wild mammals into reservoirs for infectious diseases (Shaw et al. 2003; Brazil and Brazil 2014). It is estimated that 98 species of phlebotomine sand flies are possible natural vectors of Leishmania spp. (Killick-Kendrick 1999; Galati 2003; WHO 2010a). This is due to specific characteristics of their biology such as anthropophilia; being naturally infected by the same Leishmania that circulates among humans; and their spatial distribution, which coincides with likely places of infection.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo CruzRio de JaneiroBrazil

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