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Korean J Parasitol. 2016 Jun;54(3):307-13. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2016.54.3.307. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

Seroepidemiological Survey of Zoonotic Diseases in Small Mammals with PCR Detection of Orientia tsutsugamushi in Chiggers, Gwangju, Korea.

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Division of Infectious Disease Investigation, Health and Environment Research Institute of Gwangju City, Gwangju 61986, Korea.
Clinical Pathology, Gwangju Health University, Gwangju 62287, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea.
Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangu 62287, Korea.


Serosurveillance for zoonotic diseases in small mammals and detection of chiggers, the vector of Orientia tsutsugamushi, were conducted from September 2014 to August 2015 in Gwangju Metropolitan Area. Apodemus agrarius was the most commonly collected small mammals (158; 91.8%), followed by Myodes regulus (8; 4.6%), and Crocidura lasiura (6; 3.5%). The highest seroprevalence of small mammals for O. tsutsugamushi (41; 26.3%) was followed by hantaviruses (24; 15.4%), Rickettsia spp. (22; 14.1%), and Leptospira (2; 1.3%). A total of 3,194 chiggers were collected from small mammals, and 1,236 of 3,194 chiggers were identified with 7 species of 3 genera: Leptotrombidium scutellare was the most commonly collected species (585; 47.3%), followed by L. orientale (422; 34.1%), Euchoengastia koreaensis (99; 8.0%), L. palpale (58; 4.7%), L. pallidum (36; 2.9%), Neotrombicula gardellai (28; 2.3%), and L. zetum (8; 0.6%). L. scutellare was the predominant species. Three of 1,236 chigger mites were positive for O. tsutsugamushi by PCR. As a result of phylogenetic analysis, the O. tsutsugamushi strain of chigger mites had sequence homology of 90.1-98.2% with Boryong. This study provides baseline data on the distribution of zoonotic diseases and potential vectors for the development of prevention strategies of vector borne diseases in Gwangju metropolitan area.


Leptotrombidium orientale; Leptotrombidium scutellare; Orientia tsutsugamushi; chigger; rodent; serosurveillance; soricomorph; zoonotic disease

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