[Leish-l] Tribute to Almerio Gomes de Castro

Eunice Galati egalati at usp.br
Mon Apr 23 19:13:48 BRT 2012

Obituary - Almério Castro Gomes´s legacy to Brazilian Medical Entomology

Sadly on April 14, 2012 the parasitology community lost a colleague who 
made innumerous important contributions to the field of Medical 
Entomology that focused on leishmaniasis and arbovirology - Almério 
Gomes de Castro.

Born in Piaui, he graduated in Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Federal 
University of Rio de Janeiro in 1969 and began his teaching career in 
Londrina, Parana State. In 1972 he embarked on his career in medical 
entomology by attending Sao Paulo University´s School of Public Health´s 
Medical Entomology course. He continued his studies in the same faculty 
and attended the Course in Public Health in 1973 and later gained his 
MSc (1974-1975) and Ph.D. (1976-1979). In 1977 he became a professor in 
the School of Public Health´s Department of Epidemiology and joined 
Oswaldo Paulo Forattini´s medical entomology team. In 1985 he gained his 
“Livre-Docência” and became Full Professor in 1992.

His research on sand flies started in 1974 in Londrina, Paraná, followed 
by several studies in São Paulo´s Ribeira Valley in the 1970s and 1980s. 
They signaled the important vectorial role of Nyssomyia intermedia s. 
lat. (at the time called Psychodopygus intermedius) in American 
cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL). These studies demonstrated the preference 
of this species for areas of ecotones between forests and open areas, 
and the peridomestic environment. He also investigated ATL vectors in 
other areas of Sao Paulo state, and when Lutzomyia longipalpis began to 
gain ground in Sao Paulo State he participated in research aimed at 
understanding how aspects of its behavior could help in its control.

As well as his own studies he mentored students whose research projects 
included different aspects of the epidemiology and control of 
leishmaniasis, and his articles are important references for us all.

In the 90's he collaborated with the Health Secretariat of São Paulo 
together with the Ministry of Health on the epidemiological surveillance 
of leishmaniasis, and in 2002 published an important article on 
Entomological Surveillance.

With the alarming increase of dengue throughout the country he began 
intensive studies on Aedes aegypti and its surveillance in collaboration 
with the Ministry of Health and other public agencies in their fight 
against dengue.

He also studied the vectors of yellow fever that are associated with 
epizootic outbreaks that extend from the North to the South of Brazil. 
Other important studies were associated with mosquito populations that 
increased after the building of the Porto Primavera hydroelectric dam on 
the Parana River.

He did everything in his power to attend the public body’s demands for 
improvements in entomological surveillance by giving courses and 
lectures, always with great enthusiasm. Often he acted as interlocutor 
between science and the press. He was relentless.

At the School of Public Health / USP he oriented Masters (16) and PhD 
(eight) students and many have assumed important positions in education 
and public services. He lectured to undergraduate, postgraduate and 
specialist courses and published 92 articles and dozens of papers at 
scientific meetings. He served two terms as head of the Epidemiology 
Department during which time he made important improvements to the 
entomology laboratories.

As a colleague and mentor he was always an enthusiastic supporter. He 
was also a visionary introducing into his talks completely new ideas. 
His good humor was another trademark.

Almerio. You have left us, but you have given us a great legacy that 
shows future generations of entomologists how to be scientifically 
objective by proposing practical solutions to the problems associated 
with mans relationship with disease vectors.

Eunice A B Galati

Eunice AB Galati

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