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Concept: Scrub typhus


Scrub typhus is a life-threatening zoonosis caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi organisms that are transmitted by the larvae of trombiculid mites. Endemic scrub typhus was originally thought to be confined to the so called “tsutsugamushi triangle” within the Asia-Pacific region. In 2006, however, two individual cases were detected in the Middle East and South America, which suggested that the pathogen was present farther afield. Here, we report three autochthonous cases of scrub typhus caused by O. tsutsugamushi acquired on Chiloé Island in southern Chile, which suggests the existence of an endemic focus in South America. (Funded by the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica and the Wellcome Trust.).

Concepts: North Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America, Chile, Asia-Pacific, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


We screened Orientia tsutsugamushi from 385 domestic rodents and 19 humans with scrub typhus in rural Tai'an District, Shandong Province, a new scrub typhus epidemic area in northern China. Sequence analysis identified 7 genotypes in the rodents, of which 2 were also identified in the humans.

Concepts: Shandong, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


Scrub typhus is a lethal human disease transmitted by larval trombiculid mites (i.e., chiggers) that have been infected with the rickettsia Orientia tsutsugamushi. In total, 21 chigger species are known from Taiwan. We update the checklist of chiggers of Taiwan based on an intensive survey of shrew and rodent hosts in grasslands and agricultural fields in lowland Taiwan, coupled with surveys of forests in one mountainous site and an opportunistic examination of submitted host specimens. Three new species of chiggers, Gahrliepia (Gateria) lieni sp. n., Gahrliepia (Gateria) minuta sp. n., and Gahrliepia (Gateria) yilanensis sp. n., as well as 23 newly recorded chigger species, were discovered. Accordingly, recorded chigger species of Taiwan more than doubled from 21 to 47 species. Two new species and nine newly recorded chigger species were discovered in forests in one mountainous site in northeastern Taiwan, suggesting that many more chigger species may be uncovered, particularly in mountainous Taiwan. Further studies should also investigate O. tsutsugamushi infection in different chigger species to assess its risks to human health.

Concepts: Rickettsia, Acari, Typhus, Trombiculidae, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Harvest mite, Gahrliepia


Trombiculid mites (or chigger mites) are a large group of arthropods, and some of these species are vectors of Orientia tsutsugamushi, the causative agent of tsutsugamushi disease (scrub typhus). Yunnan Province is situated in the southwest of China, and its complicated topography, special altitude gradients, and high biodiversity have aroused the interest of many scientists to study the fauna and species diversity of plants and animals. To replenish our former faunal study, this paper listed all the scientific names of trombiculid mites in Yunnan Province, together with their hosts and collection sites (geographical distribution). A total of 120,138 individuals of trombiculid mites were collected from the body surface of 13,760 small mammal hosts (89.06 % of them are rodents) in 29 collection sites (counties) of Yunnan Province from 2001 to 2013. The 120,138 mites were identified as comprising 2 families (Trombiculidae and Leeuwenhoekiidae), 26 genera, and 274 species. The genus Leptotrombidium had the most abundant species (109 species) of 26 genera. Of the six main vectors of scrub typhus in China, five of them were found in Yunnan. Of the 274 chigger mite species, 23 were determined as the newly recorded species (new records), which were found in Yunnan Province for the first time. The identified 274 species of trombiculid mites in the present paper are much more than those from other provinces in China and even largely exceeded the species of trombiculid mites recorded from some other regions and countries in the world. Based on the formula of Chao 1, the total number of chigger mite species in Yunnan was approximately estimated to be 346 species, and about 72 species might have been missed in our sampling process.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Mammal, Yunnan, Kunming, Southwest China, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Harvest mite


Scrub typhus is a serious public health problem in the Asia-Pacific area. It threatens one billion people globally, and causes illness in one million people each year. Caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, scrub typhus can result in severe multiorgan failure with a case fatality rate up to 70% without appropriate treatment. The antigenic heterogeneity of O. tsutsugamushi precludes generic immunity and allows reinfection. As a neglected disease, there is still a large gap in our knowledge of the disease, as evidenced by the sporadic epidemiologic data and other related public health information regarding scrub typhus in its endemic areas. Our objective is to provide a systematic analysis of current epidemiology, prevention and control of scrub typhus in its long-standing endemic areas and recently recognized foci of infection.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


Scrub typhus, a bacterial infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, is increasingly recognized as an important cause of fever in Asia, with an estimated one million infections occurring each year. Limited access to health care and the disease’s non-specific symptoms mean that many patients are undiagnosed and untreated, but the mortality from untreated scrub typhus is unknown. This review systematically summarizes the literature on the untreated mortality from scrub typhus and disease outcomes.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Medicine, Disease, Infectious disease, Infection, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


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


Scrub typhus is a potentially lethal infection caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Orientia (O.) tsutsugamushi Reports on the emergence of doxycycline-resistant strains highlight the urgent need to develop novel anti-infectives against scrub typhus.Corallopyronin A (CorA) is a novel α-pyrone compound synthesized by the myxobacterium Corallococcus coralloides and was characterized as a non-competitive inhibitor of the “switch region” of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). We investigated the antimicrobial action of CorA against the human-pathogenic Karp strain of O. tsutsugamushi in vitro and in vivo The minimal inhibitory concentration of CorA against O. tsutsugamushi was remarkably low (0.0078 μg/ml), 16-fold lower compared to Rickettsia (R.) typhi In the lethal intraperitoneal O. tsutsugamushi mouse infection model, a minimum daily dose of 100 μg CorA protected 100% of infected mice. Two days of treatment were sufficient to confer protection. In contrast to BALB/c mice, SCID mice succumbed to the infection despite CorA or tetracycline treatment, suggesting that antimicrobial treatment required synergistic action of the adaptive immune response. Similar to tetracycline, CorA did not prevent latent infection of O. tsutsugamushi in vivo However, latency was not caused by acquisition of antimicrobial resistance, since O. tsutsugamushi reisolated from latently infected BALB/c mice remained fully susceptible to CorA. No mutations were found in the CorA binding regions of the beta and beta' RNAP subunit genes rpoB and rpoCInhibition of the RNAP switch region of O. tsutsugamushi by CorA is therefore a novel and highly potent target for antimicrobial therapy of scrub typhus.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene, Bacteria, Virus, Rickettsia, RNA polymerase, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


With few studies conducted to date, very little is known about the epidemiology of rickettsioses in Bhutan. Due to two previous outbreaks and increasing clinical cases, scrub typhus is better recognized than other rickettsial infections and Q fever.

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


Outbreaks of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) have been occurring in Gorakhpur Division, Uttar Pradesh, India, for several years. In 2016, we conducted a case-control study. Our findings revealed a high proportion of AES cases with Orientia tsutsugamushi IgM and IgG, indicating that scrub typhus is a cause of AES.

Concepts: Encephalitis, Typhus, States and territories of India, Urdu, Uttar Pradesh, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Gorakhpur