SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Orientia tsutsugamushi

1

Scrub typhus is caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi and is endemic to many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including tropical Australia. We describe a recent large outbreak amongst military personnel in north Queensland. A total of 45 clinical cases were identified (36% of all potentially exposed individuals). This occurred despite existing military protocols stipulating the provision of doxycycline prophylaxis. Doxycycline resistance in O. tsutsugamushi has been described in South-East Asia, but not Australia. In one case, O. tsutsugamushi was cultured from eschar tissue and blood. Using quantitative real-time PCR to determine susceptibility to doxycycline for the outbreak strain, a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ≤0.04 μg/mL was found, indicating susceptibility to this agent. It seems most probable that failure to adhere to adequate prophylaxis over the duration of the military exercise accounted for the large number of cases encountered rather than doxycycline resistance.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Rickettsia, Military, Typhus, Asia-Pacific, Soldier, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi

1

Orientia tsutsugamushi is the causative agent of scrub typhus, a disease transmitted by Leptotrombidium mites which is responsible for a severe and under-reported public health burden throughout Southeast Asia. Here we use multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to characterize 74 clinical isolates from three geographic locations in the Lao PDR (Laos), and compare them with isolates described from Udon Thani, northeast Thailand. The data confirm high levels of diversity and recombination within the natural O. tsutsugamushi population, and a rate of mixed infection of ~8%. We compared the relationships and geographical structuring of the strains and populations using allele based approaches (eBURST), phylogenetic approaches, and by calculating F-statistics (FST). These analyses all point towards low levels of population differentiation between isolates from Vientiane and Udon Thani, cities which straddle the Mekong River which defines the Lao/Thai border, but with a very distinct population in Salavan, southern Laos. These data highlight how land use, as well as the movement of hosts and vectors, may impact on the epidemiology of zoonotic infections.

Concepts: Southeast Asia, Thailand, Laos, Isan, Lao people, Cambodia, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Vientiane

1

Scrub typhus is a severe mite-borne infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligately intracellular bacterium closely related to Rickettsia. The disease explains a substantial proportion of acute undifferentiated febrile cases that require hospitalization in rural areas of Asia, the North of Australia, and many islands of the Pacific Ocean. Delayed antibiotic treatment is common due to the lack of effective commercially available diagnostic tests and the lack of specificity of the early clinical presentation. The systemic infection of endothelial cells that line the vasculature with Orientia can lead to many complications and fatalities. In survivors, immunity does not last long, and is poorly cross-reactive among numerous strains. In addition, chronic infections are established in an unknown number of patients. All those characteristics justify the pursuit of a prophylactic vaccine against O. tsutsugamushi; however, despite continuous efforts to develop such a vaccine since World War II, the objective has not been attained. In this review, we discuss the history of vaccine development against Orientia to provide a clear picture of the challenges that we continue to face from the perspective of animal models and the immunological challenges posed by an intracellular bacterium that normally triggers a short-lived immune response. We finish with a proposal for development of an effective and safe vaccine for scrub typhus through a new approach with a strong focus on T cell-mediated immunity, empirical testing of the immunogenicity of proteins encoded by conserved genes, and assessment of protection in relevant animal models that truly mimic human scrub typhus.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Virus, Vaccine, Immunology, Humoral immunity, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi

0

We conducted a yearlong prospective study of febrile patients admitted to a tertiary referral hospital in Chittagong, Bangladesh, to assess the proportion of patients with rickettsial illnesses and identify the causative pathogens, strain genotypes, and associated seasonality patterns. We diagnosed scrub typhus in 16.8% (70/416) and murine typhus in 5.8% (24/416) of patients; 2 patients had infections attributable to undifferentiated Rickettsia spp. and 2 had DNA sequence-confirmed R. felis infection. Orientia tsutsugamushi genotypes included Karp, Gilliam, Kato, and TA763-like strains, with a prominence of Karp-like strains. Scrub typhus admissions peaked in a biphasic pattern before and after the rainy season, whereas murine typhus more frequently occurred before the rainy season. Death occurred in 4% (18/416) of cases; case-fatality rates were 4% each for scrub typhus (3/70) and murine typhus (1/28). Overall, 23.1% (96/416) of patients had evidence of treatable rickettsial illnesses, providing important evidence toward optimizing empirical treatment strategies.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Virus, Illness, Rickettsia, Typhus, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Orientia

0

Scrub typhus is an acute febrile illness caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. We prospectively studied the clinico-laboratory profile and outcome of 358 children aged 1 day to 18 years diagnosed with scrub typhus from Chennai, South India. All children (100%) had fever. Eschar was seen in 67%. All children were treated with oral doxycycline and those with complications were treated with intravenous chloramphenicol/azithromycin. Rapid defervescence (within 48 h) after initiation of doxycline was seen in 306 (85%) and 52 (14.5%) developed complications. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that children who had an elevated aspartate amino transferase (> 120 IU/L) and the presence of thrombocytopenia (platelet count less than 1 lac cells/mm3) at admission had high risk of developing complications. The overall mortality rate in this series was 0.8%.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Actuarial science, Platelet, Rickettsia, Typhus, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi

0

Seasonal outbreaks of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) with high case fatality have been occurring in Gorakhpur division in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India, for more than three decades. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) accounted for <10% of AES cases, while the etiology of the remaining cases remained largely unknown. Investigations conducted during the 2014 and 2015 outbreaks indicated Orientia tsutsugamushi (Haruo Hayashi 1920) (Norio Ogata 1929) Tamura et al. 1995 (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) as the etiology in about 60% of AES cases. Hospital-based surveillance studies indicated that about one-fifth of the patients with acute febrile illness were due to scrub typhus. Further studies are required to identify the etiology of about a third of AES cases that test negative for scrub typhus, JEV, or dengue.

Concepts: Greek loanwords, Rickettsiales, Rickettsia, Encephalitis, Uttar Pradesh, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Gorakhpur

0

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a major seasonal public health problem in Bihar, India. Despite efforts of the Bihar health department and the Government of India, burden and mortality of AES cases have not decreased, and definitive etiologies for the illness have yet to be identified.

Concepts: Health care, Epidemiology, India, Government, Encephalitis, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Bihar

0

Orientia tsutsugamushi is an obligate intracellular pathogen that causes scrub typhus. Diagnosing scrub typhus is still a challenge and sensitive, specific, simple, and rapid diagnostic tests is in need.

Concepts: Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi

0

Investigation of a scrub typhus outbreak in Thailand during September 2013 found that 9.1% of Thai soldiers and 11.1% of residents living in areas surrounding training sites had antibodies against the causative agent, Orientia tsutsugamushi. Sequence analysis of O. tsutsugamushi from rodents and chiggers identified 7 genogroups and 3 genotypes.

Concepts: Rickettsia, Thailand, Typhus, Provinces of Thailand, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Chonburi Province, Pattaya

0

Tsutsugamushi disease is an acute, febrile, infectious disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Several studies investigating the histopathologic findings of eschars in tsutsugamushi disease reported leukocytoclastic vasculitis and neutrophil infiltration as the major findings. However, these findings may result from secondary changes following tissue necrosis. The histopathologic findings of perieschar lesions may be important to understand the primary changes associated with tsutsugamushi disease.

Concepts: HIV, Inflammation, Cancer, Infectious disease, Infection, Chemotherapy, Tuberculosis, Orientia tsutsugamushi