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Byoungchul Gill 1 Article
Annual Fluctuation in Chigger Mite Populations and Orientia Tsutsugamushi Infections in Scrub Typhus Endemic Regions of South Korea
Seong Yoon Kim, Byoungchul Gill, Bong Gu Song, Hyuk Chu, Won Il Park, Hee Il Lee, E-hyun Shin, Shin-Hyeong Cho, Jong Yul Roh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2019;10(6):351-358.   Published online December 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2019.10.6.05
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  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Chigger mites are vectors for scrub typhus. This study evaluated the annual fluctuations in chigger mite populations and Orientia tsutsugamushi infections in South Korea.

Methods

During 2006 and 2007, chigger mites were collected monthly from wild rodents in 4 scrub typhus endemic regions of South Korea. The chigger mites were classified based on morphological characteristics, and analyzed using nested PCR for the detection of Orientia tsutsugamushi.

Results

During the surveillance period, the overall trapping rate for wild rodents was 10.8%. In total, 17,457 chigger mites (representing 5 genera and 15 species) were collected, and the average chigger index (representing the number of chigger mites per rodent), was 31.7. The monthly chigger index was consistently high (> 30) in Spring (March to April) and Autumn (October to November). The mite species included Leptotrombidium pallidum (43.5%), L. orientale (18.9%), L. scutellare (18.1%), L. palpale (10.6%), and L. zetum (3.6%). L. scutellare and L. palpale populations, were relatively higher in Autumn. Monthly O. tsutsugamushi infection rates in wild rodents (average: 4.8%) and chigger mites (average: 0.7%) peaked in Spring and Autumn.

Conclusion

The findings demonstrated a bimodal pattern of the incidence of O. tsutsugamushi infections. Higher infection rates were observed in both wild rodents and chigger mites, in Spring and Autumn. However, this did not reflect the unimodal incidence of scrub typhus in Autumn. Further studies are needed to identify factors, such as human behavior and harvesting in Autumn that may explain this discordance.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Infestation and seasonal fluctuation of chigger mites on the Southeast Asian house rat (Rattus brunneusculus) in southern Yunnan Province, China
    Yan Lv, Xianguo Guo, Daochao Jin, Wenyu Song, Peiying Peng, Hao Lin, Rong Fan, Chengfu Zhao, Zhiwei Zhang, Keyu Mao, Tijun Qian, Wenge Dong, Zhihua Yang
    International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites .2021; 14: 141.     CrossRef
  • Nationwide Incidence of Chigger Mite Populations and Molecular Detection of Orientia tsutsugamushi in the Republic of Korea, 2020
    Min-Goo Seo, Bong-Goo Song, Tae-Kyu Kim, Byung-Eon Noh, Hak Seon Lee, Wook-Gyo Lee, Hee Il Lee
    Microorganisms.2021; 9(8): 1563.     CrossRef

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives