[Leish-l] Tribute to Almerio Gomes de Castro
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
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
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
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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