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Response of female Lutzomyia longipalpis to host odour kairomones from human skin

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>Physiological Entomology
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)220-226
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Lutzomyia longipalpis Lute and Neiva (Diptera: Psychodidae) is the vector of Leishmania chagasi, the aetiologic agent of visceral leishmaniasis in the New World. In the present study, the response of female sandflies from Jacobina, Brazil, to human odours from six different volunteers was investigated. Glass Petri dishes were handled by different volunteers and then exposed to female sand flies. There was a significant difference between subjects in that some individuals were more attractive or less repellent to sandflies. Response of flies to handled Petri dishes was higher during the first minutes of observation, suggesting the presence of volatile compounds in hand odours. Extracts of glass Petri dishes that had been handled by the volunteers were made with organic solvents such as acetone, methanol, pentane and ether. These were then concentrated and tested for sandfly response. Only extracts carried out with non-polar solvents such as pentane and ether were able to transfer odours from handled glass Petri dishes onto clean dishes. The attractivity of male and female human subjects was monitored for 80 days, and minor fluctuations in attractiveness were observed.