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Molecular and serologic survey of Orientia tsutsugamushi infection among field rodents in southern Cholla Province, Korea

Molecular and serologic survey of Orientia tsutsugamushi infection among field rodents in southern Cholla Province, Korea

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 58(4): 513-518

Field rodents were collected from six areas in southern Cholla Province, Korea from October to December 1993. Twenty-eight (24%) of the 119 Apodemus agrarius were seropositive (> 1:10) for Orientia tsutsugamushi by the passive hemagglutination assay (PHA). Of the seropositive cases, 11 specimens had antibody titers greater than 1:80. No seropositive specimens were found among the eight Crocidura lasiura collected. On the other hand, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified about 520 basepairs of a gene encoding the 56-kD protein from the genomic DNA of 12 strains of O. tsutsugamushi tested. This target DNA sequence was amplified from the 11 (8.7%) blood specimens of A. agrarius, and one of the eight C. lasiura also showed evidence of O. tsutsugamushi infection by PCR. Only one of the PCR-positive samples was also PHA-positive. These results suggest that the PCR combined with a serologic assay more accurately detects the degree of infection of rodents with rickettsiae-causing scrub typhus in epidemiologic surveys.

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Accession: 003204600

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PMID: 9574801

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