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30 January 2024 Genetic diversity of Orientia tsutsugamushi circulating among trombiculid mite vectors identified in Mizoram, Northeast India
Van Ramliana, Gabriel Rosangkima, Lalfakzuala Pautu, Hun Ropuia
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Scrub typhus cases are increasing in several regions of Mizoram State, India. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the occurrence of rodent hosts, vectors, or genotypes of Orientia tsutsugamushi from chigger mites in this area. Our goal was to include genotyping O. tsutsugamushi in vector mites and identification of hosts and vectors. Rodents that were caught in forests, paddy fields, and peri-domestic areas were examined for ectoparasites. Morphological and molecular techniques were used to identify rodents and ectoparasites down to the species level. Real-time and conventional polymerase chain reactions using species-specific primers targeting 47 kDa outer membrane protein and 56 kDa type-specific antigen genes were used for the detection and genotyping of O. tsutsugamushi from ectoparasites. A total of 655 rodents comprising 12 species under seven genera were captured from 64 study sites. A total of 16,379 ectoparasites were collected from rodents. Leptotrombidium deliense, Leptotrombidium fletcheri, and Leptotrombidium chiangraiensis collected from Rattus tanezumi and Rattus nitidus were identified as vectors of Orientia tsutsugamushi. Phylogenetic analysis also showed that O. tsutsugamushi detected from vector mites belongs to Karp, Gilliam/Kawasaki, and Kato-related genotypes. The present study documented multiple species of vectors and genotypes of O. tsutsugamushi in rodents, indicating a considerable diversity of vectors and pathogens in Mizoram. Leptotrombidium deliense is the major dominant species of vector mites identified, which can increase the risk of transmission of scrub typhus from rodents to humans in Mizoram State, India.

Van Ramliana, Gabriel Rosangkima, Lalfakzuala Pautu, and Hun Ropuia "Genetic diversity of Orientia tsutsugamushi circulating among trombiculid mite vectors identified in Mizoram, Northeast India," Journal of Vector Ecology 49(1), 80-89, (30 January 2024).
Received: 12 July 2023; Accepted: 15 November 2023; Published: 30 January 2024

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molecular detection
Orientia tsutsugamushi
rodent host
scanning electron microscopy
vector mites
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