A pinboard by
Rawadee Kumlert

PhD. Student, Mahidol University, Faculty of Tropical Medicine


Scrub typhus is endemic in rural areas of Asia Pacific, including in Lao PDR. The causal agent, Orientia tsutsugamushi, is a gram-negative bacterium transmitted by Trombiculid mite larvae (chiggers), which live as ectoparasites on vertebrate hosts. For effective disease control, robust vector surveillance is essential, which should include understanding of chigger mite species and host profiles. In this study, we explored the chigger species and their rodent hosts. We trapped rodents carrying chigger mites in Vientiane province, Lao PDR. A total of 285 mites were collected from 23 rodents of 7 species. Chigger species are classified by their morphological characteristics. The most important feature for identification and classification of chigger mites is the central dorsal shield. Its shape, size and the distribution of attached setae (fine hairs) and sensillae (sensory hairs) allow assignment of mites to the genus level and often to the subgenus level. Additional characteristics are required for identification to the species level; including the shape and arrangement of body setae (chaetotaxy), and features of the gnathosoma, legs and coxae. We found 13 chigger mite species from 7 different genera, including Ascoschoengastia indica, Blankaartia acuscutellaris, Gahrliepia elbeli, G. marshi, G. tylana, Walchia alpestris, W. ewingi ewingi, W. ewingi lupella, W. kritochaeta, W. aff. micropelta, Leptotrombidium deliense, Schoengastia kanhaensis and Schoutedenichia centralkwangtunga. This data also revealed that L. deliense, one major vector of scrub typhus, could be found in Laos PDR.


Geographical Distribution and Seasonal Indices of Chigger Mites on Small Mammals Collected on the East Coast of the Republic of Korea.

Abstract: The geographical distributions and relative population densities of scrub typhus vector mites collected from small mammals were determined for 5 locations on the east coast of the Republic of Korea. Collection sites included Goseong, Gangneung, and Hoengseong in Gangwon province and Uljin and Yeongdeok in Gyeongbuk province. A total of 275 small mammals including members of Rodentia (rodents) and Soricomorpha (shrews, such as Crocidura lasiura ) belonging to 4 genera and 4 species were captured in the field from 2012 to 2013. Apodemus agrarius was collected most frequently (220, 80%), followed by C. lasiura (25, 9.1%), Mus musculus (15, 5.5%), and Myodes regulus (15, 5.5%). A total of 23,436 larval chigger mites (Family Trombiculidae) belonging to 3 genera and 8 species (Leptotrombidium pallidum, Leptotrombidium scutellare, Leptotrombidium palpale, Leptotrombidium orientale, Leptotrombidium zetum, Neotrombicula tamiyai, Neotrombicula japonica, and Euschoengastica koreaensis) were collected from the small mammals. The predominant chigger species collected during the spring and fall seasons from A. agrarius were L. pallidum (57.6%), L. palpale (14.5%), and L. scutellare (7.9%). Leptotrombidium scutellare was collected only along the southeastern coast at Yeongdeok, Gyeongbuk province. The geographical distribution of scrub typhus vectors and reservoir hosts are important aspects of understanding the epidemiology of the disease as well as the potential impacts of climate change and health risks.

Pub.: 15 Dec '15, Pinned: 27 Jul '17

Stylostome organization in feeding Leptotrombidium larvae (Acariformes: Trombiculidae).

Abstract: The stylostome of larvae of the trombiculids Leptotrombidium scutellare (Nagayo et al.), Leptotrombidium fletcheri (Womersley et Heaslip) and Leptotrombidium deliense (Walch) was studied experimentally at different time intervals after larval attachment using the histological method. The stylostome of these species has the same organization and belongs to the epidermal combined with the mixed type, developing more in width than in length. Neither transverse nor conspicuous longitudinal layers are present within the stylostome walls, which stain predominantly in red with Azan, also showing longitudinal portions with blue staining. Larvae tend to attach closely to each other and scabs, consisting of the hyperkeratotic epidermal layers fusing with migrating inflammatory cells, develop around the attachment sites. The dermis shows inflammatory foci with dilated capillaries and inflammatory cells inserting in the connective tissue layer underneath the stylostome. The feeding cavity, which is moderately expressed, may be found either in the epidermis or in the dermis. It contains inflammatory cells and their debris in the liquefied host tissues. The stylostome length depends on the character of the attachment site (the thicker epidermis or scab the longer the stylostome), and does not directly correspond to the stages of larval feeding. Nevertheless, at the 48-h time interval, nearly all attached larvae are found to be fully fed and their midgut cells are filled with nutritional globules.

Pub.: 02 Apr '14, Pinned: 27 Jul '17

A Revised Checklist of Chigger Mites (Acari: Trombiculidae) From Thailand, with the Description of Three New Species.

Abstract: Chigger mites of Thailand were studied on the basis of larvae collected from 19 small mammal species (17 species of Rodentia, 1 species of Erinaceomorpha, and 1 species of Scandentia) and revision of published data. Samples of 38 trombiculid species were collected from 11 provinces. Three new species were described: Trombiculindus kosapani sp. nov., Helenicula naresuani sp. nov., and Walchia chavali sp. nov. Ten species were recorded in Thailand for the first time: Leptotrombidium sialkotense Vercammen-Grandjean and Langston, 1976; Leptotrombidium subangulare Wen and Xiang, 1984; Leptotrombidium tenompaki Stekolnikov, 2013; Leptotrombidium turdicola Vercammen-Grandjean and Langston, 1976; Leptotrombidium yunlingense Yu, Yang, Zhang and Hu, 1981; Lorillatum hekouensis Yu, Chen and Lin, 1996; Helenicula pilosa (Abonnenc and Taufflieb, 1957); Gahrliepia xiaowoi Wen and Xiang, 1984; Walchia minuscuta Chen, 1978; and Walchia ventralis (Womersley, 1952). In all, 99 chigger mite species were considered; the presence of 93 species was established in Thailand by original data or properly documented records in the scientific literature. Evidence for 64 species records of 147 from a previous checklist of Thai chiggers (Tanskul 1993) remains unknown. Distribution of chigger species by geographical regions of Thailand is discussed.

Pub.: 09 Jan '16, Pinned: 27 Jul '17