Author(s): Lurchachaiwong W, Monkanna T, Leepitakrat S, Ponlawat A, Sattabongkot J,
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Abstract Rodents are the natural hosts for Leptotrombidium mites that transmit Orientia tsutsugamushi, the causative agent of scrub typhus, a potentially fatal febrile human disease. Utilizing mite lines that included O. tsutsugamushi infected and non-infected Leptotrombidium species we investigated the varied infection response of outbred mice (ICR) exposed to L. chiangraiensis (Lc), L. imphalum (Li) and L. deliense (Ld). Each of six mite lines (Lc1, Lc5, Li3, Li4, Li7 and Ld) was separately placed in the inner ears of ICR mice either as a single individual (individual feeding, IF) or as a group of 2-4 individuals (pool feeding, PF). The species of infected chigger feeding on mice significantly affected mortality rates of the mice, with mite lines of Lc causing higher mean (±SE) mortality (90.7 ± 3.6 \%) than mite lines of Li (62.9 ± 5.6 \%) or Ld (53.6 ± 5.8 \%). Mouse responses which included time to death, food consumption and total mice weight change depended on mite species and their O. tsutsugamushi genotype, more than on feeding procedure (IF vs. PF) except for mite lines within the Lc. Infected mite lines of Lc were the most virulent infected mites assessed whereas the infected Ld species was the least virulent for the ICR. Mice killed by various mite lines showed enlarged spleens and produced ascites. The results of this investigation of the clinical responses of ICR mice to feeding by various infected mite lines indicated that the different species of infected mites and their O. tsutsugamushi genotype produced different clinical presentations in ICR mice, a scrub typhus mouse model which mimics the natural transmission of O. tsutsugamushi that is critical for understanding scrub typhus disease in terms of natural transmission, host-pathogen-vector interaction and vaccine development.
This article was published in Exp Appl Acarol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination