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Infect Genet Evol. 2013 Apr;15:53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Broad-coverage molecular epidemiology of Orientia tsutsugamushi in Thailand.

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Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand.


Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligate intracellular bacterium closely related to the genus Rickettsia, is the causative agent of scrub typhus, a major cause of febrile illness in rural areas of Asia-Pacific region. Scrub typhus is transmitted by the bite of infected mites of the genus Leptotrombidium. The region of the 56-kDa TSA gene spanning from variable domain I (VDI) to variable domain IV (VDIV) was sequenced and used for genotyping 77 O. tsutsugamushi samples from human patients confirmed with scrub typhus from 2001 to 2003 and 2009 to 2010 in different regions of Thailand. These sequences were also compared to previously published 56-kDa TSA sequences. Only 4 genotypes out of 8 previously reported in Thailand were identified, i.e. Karp, JG-v, TA763 and Kato, respectively. Two strains were not associated with known genotypes but were closely related to Taiwanese strains. The Karp genotype was confirmed as the predominant clade. The JG-v and TA763 genotypes, in contrast to other studies, also were found. The genotype TA716 was not found, except for one strain previously described.

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