Breeding structure of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) in Brazil

John Paul Mutebi, Bruce Alexander, Italo Sherlock, Jose Wellington, Adelson A. Souza, Jeffrey Shaw, Elizabeth F. Rangel, Gregory C Lanzaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Eleven populations of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva), the sand fly vector of Leishmania chagasi, from different areas of Brazil were analyzed for genetic variation at 16 enzyme loci. In this region, the prevalence of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by L. chagasi is spotty and reproductive isolation among populations of Lu. longipalpis has been reported. It is thought that morphologically similar cryptic species with varying vectorial capacity may be responsible for the discontinuous distribution of VL. The aim was to study the genetic structure of populations within this region and to identify demes that may represent sibling species. Genotypic frequencies within populations were in close compliance to Hardy- Weinberg expectations, suggesting there are no sympatric species among these 11 populations. Levels of genetic distance between pairs of populations were very low (< 0.03), consistent with local populations within a single sand fly species. When genotypic frequency data for all populations were pooled, 9 of the 13 polymorphic loci deviated from Hardy-Weinberg expectations, indicating some degree of genetic substructuring. Estimates of effective migration rates (N(e)m) among all populations were low, 2.73, suggesting that gene flow is restricted among populations, which is probably the reason for the observed genetic substructuring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Breeding structure of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) in Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this