A seroepidemiological study of selected rodent-borne diseases (hantavirus [Seoul [SEO] virus], scrub typhus [Orientia tsutsugamushi], murine typhus [Rickettsia typhi], and leptospirosis [Leptospira interrogans]), as part of the U.S. military rodent surveillance and control program, was conducted from 2001 through 2005 at Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Rodents were collected to determine the prevalence of rodent-borne diseases at a U.S. military installation in an urban environment. A total of 1,750 rodents representing three species was collected by using baited live traps (Tomahawk), glue boards, and poison baits (dead rodents observed but not assayed). The Norway rat, Rattus noruegicus (99.8%), accounted for nearly all of the rodents captured/observed. Only three roof rats, Rattus rattus (0.2%), and one house mouse, Mus musculus (<0.1%), were collected. R. norvegicus rats were the only rodents that were serologically positive for SEO virus (9.6%), scrub typhus (2.8%), murine typhus (3.8%), and leptospirosis (4.6%). One of six rodents that were positive for SEO virus by immunofluorescent antibody test was positive for SEO virus antigen by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Infection rates for SEO virus, scrub typhus, murine typhus, and leptospirosis varied annually. Rodents were captured from 228 (20.7%) of 1,104 total buildings in Yongsan Garrison. The Yongsan commissary had the highest annual infestation rate (22 rodents per year), followed by Commisky's Club (18 rodents per year). Annual infestation rates were high for food service facilities, which often store perishable food products outdoors for short periods of time, attracting rodent populations; refuse from these facilities provides harborage and food for rodents. The effect of rodent populations outside the boundary of Yongsan Garrison was not determined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health