Japanese Journal of Medical Science and Biology
Online ISSN : 1884-2828
Print ISSN : 0021-5112
ISSN-L : 0021-5112
TRANSMISSION OF SCRUB TYPHUS TO HUMAN VOLUNTEERS BY LABORATORY-REARED CHIGGERS
AKIRA SHIRAIJ. PETER SAUNDERSALEXANDER L. DOHANYDAVID L. HUXSOLLMICHAEL G. GROVES
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1982 Volume 35 Issue 1 Pages 9-16

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Abstract

Laboratory-reared, Rickettsia tsutsugamushi-infected Leptotrombidium arenicola and L. fletcheri chiggers were fed on 1 and 2 human volunteers respectively. All subjects developed typical clinical signs and symptoms of scrub typhus beginning on days 8-10 post chigger attachment (PCA) ; these included fever, severe headache, myalgia, regional lymphadenopathy, and eschar. The two L. fletcheri subjects developed a transient generalized rash on days 3-4 after the onset of fever, and these two individuals also appeared to suffer a more severe clinical disease. Rickettsemias were detected in all three volunteers beginning on day 7 PCA, 1-3 days before the onset of clinical disease. Rises in indirect fluorescent antibody titers occurred starting on days 13-19 PCA (day 4-11 post fever) and in Weil-Felix OXK titers starting on days 16-22 PCA (days 7-14 post fever) . These results strongly suggest that the use of laboratory-reared chiggers is a reliable means of transmitting scrub typhus infections to volunteers.

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