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Korean J Parasitol. 1997 Sep;35(3):171-9.

Geographical distribution of vectors and sero-strains of tsutsugamushi disease at mid-south inland of Korea.

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Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


Studies of geographical distributions and relative population densities of the vector mites of tsutsugamushi disease were carried out in October 1996 at 12 locations of the mid-south inland of the Korean peninsula, where chigger mites have been never studied. Of 177 field rodents and insectivores collected, 154 (87.0%) were Apodemus agrarius. Total 25,707 chigger mites were collected and 14 species were identified, of which Leptotrombidium pallidum was predominant (79.8%) and L. palpale the next (8.9%). L. pallidum, the vector species, was widely distributed in all study areas, showing the highest density at Cho-o 2-dong, Sangju-si (chigger index 201.8), and the lowest at Tanwol-dong. Chungju-si (chigger index 40.7). The other vector species, L. scutellare was found only at the southern part of the study area such as Yobae and Mipyong, Kumrunggun and Unsu, Kimchon-si. The northernmost areas of the L. scutellare distribution were coincided with the areas where anual mean air temperature is above 10.0 C. Among 157 A. agrarius sera tested, 48.3% was Karp, 1.7% Gilliam and 3.3% Kuroki. The rest of the sera were not able to determine the sero-type because of the cross antigen-antibody reactions among the tested sero-types.

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