High prevalence of rickettsia spp. Infections in small mammals in Taiwan

Chi Chien Kuo, Pei Yun Shu, Jung Jung Mu, Hsi Chieh Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surveillance for Rickettsia spp. is urgently needed due to the recent emergence of many novel rickettsioses around the globe, but previous studies in Taiwan have been limited to small areas and no investigation of infections in vertebrate hosts has ever been attempted. We surveyed rickettsial infections systematically in small-mammal hosts trapped between 2006 and 2010 throughout Taiwan. Fragments of ompB and gltA genes in the liver, spleen, and kidney of mammals were targeted by nested polymerase chain reaction. We trapped 1375 individuals of 10 species, among which Rattus losea was the most common (54.6%), followed by Suncus murinus (20.6%) and Mus caroli (10.6%). The overall rate of Rickettsia infections in the liver, spleen, or kidney of 309 assayed small mammals was 60.5%, with a rate of infection ≥50% for each mammal species. DNA nucleotide sequences of 184 successfully sequenced genes were most similar to nine Rickettsia species: Rickettsia conorii, R. felis, R. japonica, R. raoultii, R. rickettsii, Rickettsia sp. IG-1, Rickettsia sp. TwKM01, Rickettsia sp. TwKM02, and R. typhi. Our results suggest that several novel Rickettsia spp. are common and widespread across various habitats throughout Taiwan and suggest the need for further study of emerging rickettsioses in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

Fingerprint

Rickettsia
Taiwan
Mammals
Infection
Rickettsia Infections
Rickettsia rickettsii
Rickettsia conorii
Spleen
Felis
Kidney
Liver
Genes
Ecosystem
Vertebrates
Polymerase Chain Reaction

Keywords

  • Mammalian hosts
  • Molecular detection
  • Rickettsia
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

High prevalence of rickettsia spp. Infections in small mammals in Taiwan. / Kuo, Chi Chien; Shu, Pei Yun; Mu, Jung Jung; Wang, Hsi Chieh.

In: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.01.2015, p. 13-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kuo, Chi Chien ; Shu, Pei Yun ; Mu, Jung Jung ; Wang, Hsi Chieh. / High prevalence of rickettsia spp. Infections in small mammals in Taiwan. In: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 2015 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 13-20.
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