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Epidemiology of Tsutsugamushi disease in relation to the serotypes of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi isolated from patients, field mice, and unfed chiggers on the eastern slope of Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan



Epidemiology of Tsutsugamushi disease in relation to the serotypes of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi isolated from patients, field mice, and unfed chiggers on the eastern slope of Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan



Journal of Clinical Microbiology 30(11): 2842-2846



A total of 59 strains of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi were isolated from patients (24 isolates), Apodemus speciosus mice (30 isolates), and unfed larvae of Leptotrombidium scutellare (2 isolates) and Leptotrombidium pallidum (3 isolates) in the Gotenba-Oyama District, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. All these isolates were classified into the three serotypes Karp, Kawasaki, and Kuroki based on reactivity with strain-specific monoclonal antibodies. Kawasaki- and Karp-type rickettsiae were isolated from L. scutellare and L. pallidum, respectively, and the geographic distribution of patients and rodents infected with these two types of rickettsiae coincided with the areas densely populated by the respective chiggers. From these results, we conclude that Kawasaki-type rickettsiae are transmitted by L. scutellare and Karp-type ones are transmitted by L. pallidum. Kawasaki-type rickettsial infections were prevalent in early autumn, and Karp-type infections showed a peak of occurrence in the late autumn, reflecting the seasonal fluctuations of L. scutellare and L. pallidum. Isolates of Kuroki-type rickettsiae were obtained only from four patients in October and November, and the relationship between this type of rickettsia and its vector species could not be fully defined.

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Accession: 002371934

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PMID: 1452653


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