Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a serious tropical disease that affects approximately 500 thousand people
worldwide every year. In the Americas, VL is caused by the parasite Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi
mainly transmitted by the bite of the sand fly vector Lutzomyia longipalpis. Despite recent advances in the study
of interaction between Leishmania
and sand flies, very little is known about sand fly protein expression profiles.
Understanding how the expression of proteins may be affected by blood feeding and/or presence of parasite
in the vector's midgut might allow us to devise new strategies for controlling the spread of leishmaniasis.
In this work, we report the characterization of a vacuolar ATPase subunit C from L. longipalpis
by screening of
a midgut cDNA library with a 220 bp fragment identified by means of differential display reverse transcriptasepolymerase
chain reaction analysis. The expression of the gene varies along insect development and is
upregulated in males and bloodfed L. longipalpis
, compared to unfed flies.