Online Biology Dictionary

Lutzomyia longipalpis
Lutzomyia longipalpis
Family: Psychodidae
Order: Diptera

Lutzomyia is a genus of New World sandflies that transmit Carrion's disease (in Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador) and leishmaniasis (in tropical regions between northern Argentina and Texas). As is the case with mosquitoes, only the females suck blood.

Leishmaniasis, the parasitic disease with the second highest death rate worldwide after malaria, is caused by protozoans of the genus Leishmania.

In its cutaneous form, leishmaniasis manifests as large dermal lesions. Since these flies generally bite only those parts of the body not covered by clothing, the lesions, which develop in the vicinity of the bite and leave prominent scars, are disfiguring.

In the more severe version of the disease, visceral leishmaniasis, the liver, spleen, and bone marrow are attacked and, when the disease is left untreated, the infected individual usually dies.

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