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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 30(4):1992 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1992 Dec;30(4):341-348. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1992.30.4.341
Copyright © 1992 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Study on vector mites of tsutsugamushi disease in Cheju Island, Korea
H I Ree,I Y Lee and M K Cho*
Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Korea.

Because no reference on trombiculid mites (Acarina: Trombiculidae) in Cheju Island where tsutsugamushi disease is highly endemic had been available, studies on trombiculid mites in Cheju Island were implemented during the period of August 1991-April 1992, and the results obtained are summarized as follows: (1) The species and numbers of the field rodents collected were 143 Apodemus agrarius chejuensis (92.3%), 11 Crocidura lasiura (7.1%) and 1 Micromys minutus (0.6%). From total 12,075 chiggers harvested, 9 species of 4 genera in Trombiculidae were identified. (2) The predominant species through all seasons was L. zetum (43.3%), followed by L. orientale (27.4%) and L. scutellare (26.6%). However, in autumn when the most cases of tsutsugamushi disease occur, L. scutellare was prominently predominant, having 79.8% of the collected chiggers. (3) Among 1,142 L. scutellare examined for Rickettsia tsutsugamushi by means of IFA test, 6 individuals were found positive showing 0.5% of infection rate. This is the first finding that L. scutellare is the second vector species of tsutsugamushi disease in Korea. (4) Antibody positive rate of A. agrarius chejuensis sera were 31.2% (44/139), and 1 M. minutus serum was also found positive. The seropositive rates by season were not so significantly different.


Table 1
Field rodent collections in Cheju Island

Table 2
Infestations of chigger mites on field rodents by season in 1991-1992

Table 3
Species and total numbers of chiggers collected during the whole study period

Table 4
Seasonal prevalences of the chigger mites infested on A. a. chejuensis at three fixed study areas (Tongguiri, Kumdog-ri and Ara-1-dong) in Cheju Island

Table 5
Detection of R. tsutsugamushi antigen from internal contents of the chigger mites by means of IFA test

Table 6
Antibody positive rate of Apodemus agrarius chejuensis sera against R. tsutsugamushi in Cheju Island in August 1991-April 1992

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