The long-term objective of this project is to study the genetics and biogeography of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae). Little is known about the genetics of this important insect group, members of which serve as vectors of leishmaniasis, bartonellosis and a number of arboviral diseases. Initial studies will focus on Lutzomyia longipalpis and L. shannoni, two species which have been implicated as vectors of leishmaniasis and which have a very wide geographic range in the Americas. The proposed project involves both field and laboratory studies. Representative field collections of L. longipalpis and L. shannoni will be made throughout their geographic ranges; biochemical and morphological keys to both species will be developed as well as various geographic parameters of their distribution. Genetic profiles for each collection will be constructed using enzyme electrophoresis. Distinct geographic and genetic populations of L. longipalpis will also be compared for their susceptibility to infection with Leishmania chagasi, the etiologic agent of New World visceral leishmaniasis. Genetic maps will be constructed for the two medically important sand fly genera (Lutzomyia and Phlebotomus), based on biochemical markers, chromosome numbers, recombination frequencies and linkage maps. The latter work will utilize laboratory colonies of sand flies maintained at the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit. The project is a collaborative effort between scientists at Yale University and the Instituto Nacional de Salud in Bogota, Colombia, but a number of other sand fly specialists in the U.S. and Latin America will assist with the field collections.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section (TMP)
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Yale University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Beati, Lorenza; Caceres, Abraham G; Lee, Jamie A et al. (2004) Systematic relationships among Lutzomyia sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) of Peru and Colombia based on the analysis of 12S and 28S ribosomal DNA sequences. Int J Parasitol 34:225-34
Salomon, O D; Wilson, M L; Munstermann, L E et al. (2004) Spatial and temporal patterns of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in a cutaneous leishmaniasis focus in northern Argentina. J Med Entomol 41:33-9
Gaunt, Christine M Taafe; Mutebi, John-Paul; Munstermann, Leonard E (2004) Biochemical taxonomy and enzyme electrophoretic profiles during development, for three morphologically similar Aedes species (Diptera: Culicidae) of the subgenus Stegomyia. J Med Entomol 41:23-32
Hodgkinson, Virginia H; Birungi, Josephine; Quintana, Miguel et al. (2003) Mitochondrial cytochrome b variation in populations of the visceral leishmaniasis vector Lutzomyia longipalpis across eastern Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 69:386-92
Santamaria, Erika; Munstermann, Leonard E; Ferro, Cristina (2002) Estimating carrying capacity in a newly colonized sand fly Lutzomyia serrana (Diptera: Psychodidae). J Econ Entomol 95:149-54
Hodgkinson, Virginia H; Birungi, Josephine; Haghpanah, Michelle et al. (2002) Rapid identification of mitochondrial cytochrome B haplotypes by single strand conformation polymorphism in Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae) populations. J Med Entomol 39:689-94
Santamaria, Erika; Munstermann, Leonard E; Ferro, Cristina (2002) [Standardization of the method proposed by the World Health Organization for determining the susceptibility levels of leishmaniasis vectors to insecticides] Biomedica 22:211-8
Nayar, Jai K; Knight, J W; Munstermann, L E (2002) Temporal and geographic genetic variation in Culex nigripalpus theobald (Culicidae: Diptera), a vector of St. Louis encephalitis virus, from Florida. J Med Entomol 39:854-60
Mukhopadhyay, J; Ghosh, K; Ferro, C et al. (2001) Distribution of phlebotomine sand fly genotypes (Lutzomyia shannoni, Diptera: Psychodidae) across a highly heterogeneous landscape. J Med Entomol 38:260-7
Ono, M; Braig, H R; Munstermann, L E et al. (2001) Wolbachia infections of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae). J Med Entomol 38:237-41

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