Leishmaniases are a global health problem and in Argentina are considered emerging diseases.The new transmission scenarios of tegumentary leishmaniasis are especially important given that large areas of forest are being transformed into rural and urban systems. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the construction of a large public building and a neighborhood on the assemblage of Phlebotominae in a rural area with forest remnants and to correlate the changes observed in the species assemblage with characteristics of the environment. Entomological surveys with light traps were conducted on the construction campus in the northeastern region of Argentina at six sites representing different environmental situations. Structural environmental characteristics and meteorological conditions were recorded and analyzed. At least 16 species of Phlebotominae sand flies were collected, the most prevalent being Nyssomyia whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho), followed by the genus Brumptomyia (França & Parrot) and Migonemyia migonei (França). Our study provides evidence of how the structure of the assemblages and prevalent species respond to anthropogenic disturbances. As the construction progressed, both Ny. whitmani and the genus Brumptomyia were favored. The genus Brumptomyia was favored at sites surrounded by high proportions of forest, within patches of remnant vegetation, and relatively far from anthropogenic disturbances, while Ny. whitmani, the main vector of tegumentary leishmaniasis in the region, increases their abundant at short and intermediate distances from vegetation margins and areas close to anthropogenic disturbances, therefore increasing the risk of human exposure to vectors.
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Vol. 57 • No. 6