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Molecular epidemiology of Orientia tsutsugamushi from outbreak regions, Madhya Pradesh, Central India

1 Division of In-Vivo Research, ICMR- National Institute of Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP), Govt. of India, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
HV Manjunathachar,
Division of In-vivo Research, ICMR- National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur-482003, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.345176

Scrub typhus is a seriously neglected life threatening disease in Asia and the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The causative agent is Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligate intra-cytosolic bacterium transmitted to vertebrate animals such as a human or rodent by larval trombiculid mites (chiggers). Here, we conducted outbreak investigation in Madhya Pradesh after sudden upsurge in scrub typhus cases and mortality in humans. Sixty five live traps were placed for capturing the rodents. The captured rodent species were identified and the samples were subjected to nested PCR targeting 56-kDa TSA gene. Analysis revealed for the first time, predominance circulation of Karp genotype in this region. The vector species involved in transmission is Leptotrobidium deliense. In conclusion, we reported the circulation of Karp strain in outbreak regions of Madhya Pradesh and suggest that public health monitoring and surveillance needs to be improved. Studies on antigenic diversity, association of strains with clinical spectrum and pathogenicity in local setup will be essential for development of region specific diagnostics and vaccines.

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    -  Manjunathachar H V
    -  Tiwari P
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