Seroprevalence and phylogenetic analysis of Orientia tsutsugamushi from Apodemus peninsulae in Korea

Luck Ju Baek, Won Ik Lee, Jin Won Song, Sung Ho Rhu, Soo Yong Chung, Sung Sil Moon, Kwang Sook Park, Sun-Ho Kee, Ki-Joon Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate the seroprevalence of the Orientia tsutsugamushi infection of Apodemus peninsulae and genomic variations in O. tsutsugamushi isolates, 246 A. peninsulae were trapped in 14 mountainous areas approximately 500 meter above sea level in Korea during the period of 1997 and 2000. Seropositive rate of O. tsutsugamushi among A. peninsulae was 31.8% in Kyunggi, 8.2% in Chunbuk and 7.1% in Kangwon provinces by microimmiinofluorescent test. The 56 kDa protein gene was amplified by PCR in the spleens of seropositive A. peninsulae. Two amplicons from seropositive A. peninsulae were sequenced and their phylogeny was analysed on the basis of sequence homology. The 56 kDa genes of A. peninsulae 98-12 strain and A. peninsulae 98-16 strain showed 98.7% nucleotide homology and 96.6% amino acid similarity. A. peninsulae 98-12 and A. peninsulae 98-16 strain were related to Kuroki, Boryong and Karp strains showing 93.3-92.2%, and 87.1-84.6% homologies in nucleotide and amino acids levels, respectively. In the phylogenetic analysis, A. peninsulae 98-12 and A. peninsulae 98-16 strain formed a distinct group with Boryong, Kuroki and Nishino strains and were clearly distinguished from other genetic groups. The results suggest that A. peninsulae might be an important reservoir of O. tsutsugamushi in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology and Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 1



  • Apodemus peninsulae
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Immunology

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