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Keywords:

  • trombiculid mite;
  • chigger index;
  • geographical distribution

A surveillance of trombiculid mites was conducted by collecting wild small mammals twice a year (spring and autumn seasons) at 24 localities in Korea from 2005 to 2007 to clarify the nationwide distribution of scrub typhus vectors. Among 783 trapped rodents, Apodemus agrarius accounted for 87.4% and the trapping rate at riverside was recorded the highest. A total of 67,325 mites representing 4 genera and 14 species were collected and their chigger index (C. I.) was 86.0. The predominant species were Leptotrombidium pallidum (52.6%), L. scutellare (27.1%), L. palpale (8.2%), L. orientale (5.6%), and Neotrombicula tamiyai (1.7%). However, the portion of L. scutellare in southern area including endemic provinces such as Jeollabuk-Do (34.3%), Jeollanam-Do (49.0%), and Gyeongsangnam-Do (88%) were relatively higher than middle areas where L. pallidum was predominant in. Additionally, in autumn season, the density of L. scutellare was increased up to 42.0% while that of L. pallidum was decrease to 37.6%. Now we are performing a periodic surveillance again (2011∼2013) and trying to develop a method to identify these trombiculid mites using molecular markers.