Phlebotominae of epidemiological importance in cutaneous leishmaniasis in northwestern Argentina: risk maps and ecological niche models

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Abstract

In Argentina, 58.2% out of the 8126 Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) incident cases accumulated from 1954 to 2006 were reported in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. The aim of this study was to develop an exploratory risk map and a potential distribution map of the vector, in order to offer recommendations for CL prevention. A total of 12 079 Phlebotominae (Diptera: Psychodidae) belonging to the species Lutzomyia neivai (Pinto), Lu. migonei (França), Lu. cortelezzii (Brèthes), Lu. shannoni (Dyar), Lu. quinquefer (Dyar) and Brumptomyia spp. (França & Parrot) were captured.

Potential distribution models were created for two species, Lu. neivai (incriminated vector of Leishmania braziliensis) and Lu. migonei, associated with domestic animals in Argentina and that in turn could be involved as a link between zoonotic transmission cycles and anthropozoonotic.

The Maximum Entropy Modeling System (MaxEnt) was used. The Jackknife test was performed, and the ‘rainfall of the driest month’ was the variable that best generalized the models. Accuracy was evaluated by the area under the curve (AUC) and validated by the Cohen's kappa index.

This approximation provides a new analytical resource of high potential for the prevention of the disease, in order to allocate resources properly and to develop the most suitable strategies for action.

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