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Failed vertical transmission of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) acquired from rickettsemic mice by Leptotrombidium pallidum (Acari: trombiculidae)


Failed vertical transmission of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) acquired from rickettsemic mice by Leptotrombidium pallidum (Acari: trombiculidae)



Journal of Medical Entomology 31(2): 212-216



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2585

PMID: 8189412

DOI: 10.1093/jmedent/31.2.212

Larvae of Leptotrombidium pallidum (Nagayo, Miyagawa, Mitamura & Tamiya) from uninfected laboratory colonies were fed on mice infected with Rickettsia tsutsugamushi (Hayashi) Ogata. Infection of the chiggers with R. tsutsugamushi was determined by passage of chigger exudates into ddY mice. The passage method was modified so that an inoculum was considered to be positive when R. tsutsugamushi or anti-R. tsutsugamushi antibody, or both, were detected in mice up to the third blind passage. R. tsutsugamushi was detected in six of 18 larvae (33.3%) and in all developmental stages. In adults, five of 18 males and 10 of 46 females were infected with R. tsutsugamushi. In L. fuji (Kuwata, Berge & Philip), R. tsutsugamushi was not found in 57 engorged larvae fed on rickettsemic mice but was found in a very low percentage of deutonymphs and adults. Female L. pallidum from larvae fed on infected mice were paired individually, and F1 larvae were collected. Although eight females were found to be positive for R. tsutsugamushi, the rickettsia was not detected in 12 pools (249 larvae) of F1 larvae from these infected females. We concluded that uninfected mites became infected by feeding on rickettsemic mice at comparatively high rates depending on the species and transmitted this infection transstadially to succeeding life stages, but not vertically to larvae in the following F1 generation.

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Accession: 002380357

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