Molecular and Biochemical Markers for Investigating the Vectorial Roles of Brazilian Sand Flies

  • Paul D. ReadyEmail author
  • Felipe M. Vigoder
  • Elizabeth F. Rangel


This chapter reviews how molecular and biochemical methods have been developed in recent decades in order to incriminate sand flies as vectors of human diseases in Brazil, specifically of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis. There are references to relevant complementary research on non-vectors and sand flies from other countries and continents. Non-DNA techniques include multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and cuticular hydrocarbon analysis. The impacts of early DNA-based approaches are summarized, but most molecular examples refer to methods based on polymerase chain reaction. Many protocols depend on comparative sequence analysis, and this will increasingly involve high-throughput and whole genome sequencing. This chapter considers the complementary approaches necessary for identifying morphospecies, geographical populations characterized by distinct genetic lineages, and sympatric sibling species reproductively isolated by courtship behavior. Current and future challenges are considered, including the need to relate specific genotypes of individual sand flies to phenotypes of biomedical importance such as vector competence and insecticide resistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul D. Ready
    • 1
    Email author
  • Felipe M. Vigoder
    • 2
  • Elizabeth F. Rangel
    • 3
  1. 1.London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  2. 2.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo CruzRio de JaneiroBrazil

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