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Keywords:

  • Phylogenetic analysis;
  • 56-kDa type-specific antigen gen;
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi

Abstract

Close and distant relationship among 31 strains of Orientia tsutsugamushi (20, two, one and eight strains were isolated in Japan, Korea, China and southeast Asia, respectively) were clarified using phylogenetic analyses based on homologies of 56-kDa type-specific antigen genes. Isolates in Japan, Korea and China were located in eight separate clusters in the phylogenetic tree, and each was designated as JG (Japanese Gilliam type), JP-1 and JP-2 (Japanese Karp 1 and 2 types), Kato, Kawasaki, Kuroki, Shimokoshi and LX-1 types. All isolates originated in southeast Asia, including the prototype Gilliam and Karp strains isolated in Burma and New Guinea, respectively, were distantly located in the phylogenetic tree from those isolates in Japan, Korea and China, indicating that strains of O. tsutsugamushi distributed in northeastern and southeastern Asia are different types.