Prevalence of antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in small mammals around harbors in Taiwan

Kun Hsien Tsai, Shu Feng Chang, Tsai Ying Yen, Wei Liang Shih, Wan Jen Chen, Hsi Chieh Wang, Xue Jie Yu, Tzai Hung Wen, Wen Jer Wu, Pei Yun Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Tick-borne ehrlichiosis and mite-borne scrub typhus represent important emerging zoonotic rickettsial diseases. Although scrub typhus has been recognized by the Taiwanese public health system, information on ehrlichial infections is scarce in Taiwan. In this study, the risk of spread of ectoparasites on rodents through aerial and marine transportation was assessed in international and domestic harbors. Here, we report the first systematic surveillance of seroprevalence against Ehrlichia spp. in small mammals on the main island of Taiwan. Methods: In total, 1648 small mammals were trapped from 8 international ports, 18 domestic fishing harbors, and 7 local public health centers around Taiwan from November 2004 to December 2008. Sera were analyzed using indirect immunofluorescence assays to detect IgG antibodies against Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Orientia tsutsugamushi. A serum titer of 蠇1:80 was considered positive. Results: Antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi were detected in 3.28 % and 4.92 % of small mammals active around harbors, respectively. The seropositive rate against Ehrlichia was higher in northern Taiwan from 2005 to 2008. However, O. tsutsugamushi infections increased in southern Taiwan during this period. The serological evidence of ehrlichial and O. tsutsugamushi infections in all international ports were included in the study. No significant differences were found among the seropositive rates of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi in small mammals trapped between international and local harbors. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi infections in small mammals active around harbors was 3.28 % and 4.92 %, respectively. The results provided serological evidence supporting the potential risks of transporting pathogens through air and maritime traffic. This study highlights serious issues of the emergence and spread of rickettsial diseases in Taiwan. The incidence of human ehrlichiosis requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2016

Fingerprint

Orientia tsutsugamushi
Ehrlichia
Taiwan
Mammals
Antibodies
Scrub Typhus
Ehrlichiosis
Infection
Ehrlichia chaffeensis
Public Health
Mites
Seroepidemiologic Studies
Zoonoses
Ticks
Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Serum
Islands
Information Systems
Rodentia
Immunoglobulin G

Keywords

  • Ehrlichia chaffeensis
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi
  • Small mammals
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Prevalence of antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in small mammals around harbors in Taiwan. / Tsai, Kun Hsien; Chang, Shu Feng; Yen, Tsai Ying; Shih, Wei Liang; Chen, Wan Jen; Wang, Hsi Chieh; Yu, Xue Jie; Wen, Tzai Hung; Wu, Wen Jer; Shu, Pei Yun.

In: Parasites and Vectors, Vol. 9, No. 1, 45, 27.01.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tsai, KH, Chang, SF, Yen, TY, Shih, WL, Chen, WJ, Wang, HC, Yu, XJ, Wen, TH, Wu, WJ & Shu, PY 2016, 'Prevalence of antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in small mammals around harbors in Taiwan', Parasites and Vectors, vol. 9, no. 1, 45. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1318-7
Tsai, Kun Hsien ; Chang, Shu Feng ; Yen, Tsai Ying ; Shih, Wei Liang ; Chen, Wan Jen ; Wang, Hsi Chieh ; Yu, Xue Jie ; Wen, Tzai Hung ; Wu, Wen Jer ; Shu, Pei Yun. / Prevalence of antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in small mammals around harbors in Taiwan. In: Parasites and Vectors. 2016 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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abstract = "Background: Tick-borne ehrlichiosis and mite-borne scrub typhus represent important emerging zoonotic rickettsial diseases. Although scrub typhus has been recognized by the Taiwanese public health system, information on ehrlichial infections is scarce in Taiwan. In this study, the risk of spread of ectoparasites on rodents through aerial and marine transportation was assessed in international and domestic harbors. Here, we report the first systematic surveillance of seroprevalence against Ehrlichia spp. in small mammals on the main island of Taiwan. Methods: In total, 1648 small mammals were trapped from 8 international ports, 18 domestic fishing harbors, and 7 local public health centers around Taiwan from November 2004 to December 2008. Sera were analyzed using indirect immunofluorescence assays to detect IgG antibodies against Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Orientia tsutsugamushi. A serum titer of 蠇1:80 was considered positive. Results: Antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi were detected in 3.28 {\%} and 4.92 {\%} of small mammals active around harbors, respectively. The seropositive rate against Ehrlichia was higher in northern Taiwan from 2005 to 2008. However, O. tsutsugamushi infections increased in southern Taiwan during this period. The serological evidence of ehrlichial and O. tsutsugamushi infections in all international ports were included in the study. No significant differences were found among the seropositive rates of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi in small mammals trapped between international and local harbors. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi infections in small mammals active around harbors was 3.28 {\%} and 4.92 {\%}, respectively. The results provided serological evidence supporting the potential risks of transporting pathogens through air and maritime traffic. This study highlights serious issues of the emergence and spread of rickettsial diseases in Taiwan. The incidence of human ehrlichiosis requires further investigation.",
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AU - Tsai, Kun Hsien

AU - Chang, Shu Feng

AU - Yen, Tsai Ying

AU - Shih, Wei Liang

AU - Chen, Wan Jen

AU - Wang, Hsi Chieh

AU - Yu, Xue Jie

AU - Wen, Tzai Hung

AU - Wu, Wen Jer

AU - Shu, Pei Yun

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N2 - Background: Tick-borne ehrlichiosis and mite-borne scrub typhus represent important emerging zoonotic rickettsial diseases. Although scrub typhus has been recognized by the Taiwanese public health system, information on ehrlichial infections is scarce in Taiwan. In this study, the risk of spread of ectoparasites on rodents through aerial and marine transportation was assessed in international and domestic harbors. Here, we report the first systematic surveillance of seroprevalence against Ehrlichia spp. in small mammals on the main island of Taiwan. Methods: In total, 1648 small mammals were trapped from 8 international ports, 18 domestic fishing harbors, and 7 local public health centers around Taiwan from November 2004 to December 2008. Sera were analyzed using indirect immunofluorescence assays to detect IgG antibodies against Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Orientia tsutsugamushi. A serum titer of 蠇1:80 was considered positive. Results: Antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi were detected in 3.28 % and 4.92 % of small mammals active around harbors, respectively. The seropositive rate against Ehrlichia was higher in northern Taiwan from 2005 to 2008. However, O. tsutsugamushi infections increased in southern Taiwan during this period. The serological evidence of ehrlichial and O. tsutsugamushi infections in all international ports were included in the study. No significant differences were found among the seropositive rates of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi in small mammals trapped between international and local harbors. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi infections in small mammals active around harbors was 3.28 % and 4.92 %, respectively. The results provided serological evidence supporting the potential risks of transporting pathogens through air and maritime traffic. This study highlights serious issues of the emergence and spread of rickettsial diseases in Taiwan. The incidence of human ehrlichiosis requires further investigation.

AB - Background: Tick-borne ehrlichiosis and mite-borne scrub typhus represent important emerging zoonotic rickettsial diseases. Although scrub typhus has been recognized by the Taiwanese public health system, information on ehrlichial infections is scarce in Taiwan. In this study, the risk of spread of ectoparasites on rodents through aerial and marine transportation was assessed in international and domestic harbors. Here, we report the first systematic surveillance of seroprevalence against Ehrlichia spp. in small mammals on the main island of Taiwan. Methods: In total, 1648 small mammals were trapped from 8 international ports, 18 domestic fishing harbors, and 7 local public health centers around Taiwan from November 2004 to December 2008. Sera were analyzed using indirect immunofluorescence assays to detect IgG antibodies against Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Orientia tsutsugamushi. A serum titer of 蠇1:80 was considered positive. Results: Antibodies against Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi were detected in 3.28 % and 4.92 % of small mammals active around harbors, respectively. The seropositive rate against Ehrlichia was higher in northern Taiwan from 2005 to 2008. However, O. tsutsugamushi infections increased in southern Taiwan during this period. The serological evidence of ehrlichial and O. tsutsugamushi infections in all international ports were included in the study. No significant differences were found among the seropositive rates of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi in small mammals trapped between international and local harbors. Conclusions: The overall prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. and O. tsutsugamushi infections in small mammals active around harbors was 3.28 % and 4.92 %, respectively. The results provided serological evidence supporting the potential risks of transporting pathogens through air and maritime traffic. This study highlights serious issues of the emergence and spread of rickettsial diseases in Taiwan. The incidence of human ehrlichiosis requires further investigation.

KW - Ehrlichia chaffeensis

KW - Orientia tsutsugamushi

KW - Small mammals

KW - Taiwan

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