Spurred by the recent isolation of a novel hantavirus, named Imjin virus (MJNV), from the Ussuri white-toothed shrew (Crocidura lasiura), targeted trapping was conducted for the phylogenetically related Asian lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura shantungensis). Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the S, M and L segments of a newfound hantavirus, designated Jeju virus (JJUV), indicated remarkably low nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity with MJNV. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed divergent ancestral lineages for JJUV and MJNV, despite the close phylogenetic relationship of their reservoir soricid hosts. Also, no evidence of host switching was apparent in tanglegrams, generated by TreeMap 2.0β.
Hantavirus; Crocidura; Shrews; Phylogeny; Jeju Island; Korea
Rickettsiales; Rickettsia; rickettsiae; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Ehrlichia; tickborne infections; spotted fever group; Japanese spotted fever; gltA; 16S rDNA; ompA; p44/msp2; p28/omp-1; bacteria; surveillance; epidemiology; Japan
Multilocus sequence typing of Borrelia garinii isolates from humans and comparison with rodent and tick isolates were performed. Fifty-nine isolates were divided into two phylogenetic groups, and an association was detected between clinical and rodent isolates, suggesting that, in Japan, human-pathogenic B. garinii comes from rodents via ticks.
A case of Rickettsia heilongjiangensis infection in Japan was identified in a 35-year-old man who had rash, fever, and eschars. Serum contained R. heilongjiangensis antibodies, and eschars contained R. heilongjiangensis DNA. R. heilongjiangensis was also isolated from ticks in the suspected geographic area of infection.
vector-borne infections; Rickettsia heilongjiangensis; Rickettsia japonica; Haemaphysalis concinna; ticks; spotted fever group rickettsiae; bacteria; Japan; dispatch
Rickettsia; spotted fever; Rickettsia japonica; Thailand; letter
Here, we describe for the first time the prevalence and genetic properties of Bartonella organisms in wild rodents in Japan. We captured 685 wild rodents throughout Japan (in 12 prefectures) and successfully isolated Bartonella organisms from 176 of the 685 rodents (isolation rate, 25.7%). Those Bartonella isolates were all obtained from the rodents captured in suburban areas (rate, 51.8%), but no organism was isolated from the animals captured in city areas. Sequence analysis of rpoB and gltA revealed that the Bartonella isolates obtained were classified into eight genetic groups, comprising isolates closely related to B. grahamii (A-I group), B. tribocorum and B. elizabethae (B-J group), B. tribocorum and B. rattimassiliensis (C-K group), B. rattimassiliensis (D-L group), B. phoceensis (F-N group), B. taylorii (G-O group), and probably two additional novel Bartonella species groups (E-M and H-P). B. grahamii, which is one of the potential causative agents of human neuroretinitis, was found to be predominant in Japanese rodents. In terms of the relationships between these Bartonella genetic groups and their rodent species, (i) the A-I, E-M, and H-P groups appear to be associated with Apodemus speciosus and Apodemus argenteus; (ii) the C-K, D-L, and F-N groups are likely implicated in Rattus rattus; (iii) the B-J group seems to be involved in Apodemus mice and R. rattus; and (iv) the G-O group is probably associated with A. speciosus and Clethrionomys voles. Furthermore, dual infections with two different genetic groups of bartonellae were found in A. speciosus and R. rattus. These findings suggest that the rodent in Japan might serve as a reservoir of zoonotic Bartonella infection.
Babesia microti-like parasites were detected for the first time in Ixodes ovatus in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, where two reported types of B. microti-like parasites were recognized in many rodents. Of 80 adult I. ovatus ticks collected, 5 possessed the reported type and 1 possessed a new type of B. microti-like parasite.
Following the description in Japan of Japanese spotted fever, caused by Rickettsia japonica, a search for the vector of this disease led to the isolation of several rickettsiae from various tick species. Sixty-three rickettsial isolates were obtained from six different tick species, and six type strains were described by PCR and monoclonal antibody testing. We identified these six strains by amplification and sequencing of the genes encoding 16S rRNA and citrate synthase. We confirmed that the isolates from Dermacentor taiwanensis and Haemaphysalis flava ticks were R. japonica isolates. In Ixodes ovatus, Ixodes persulcatus, and Ixodes monospinosus, we identified a Rickettsia identical or closely related to Rickettsia helvetica, a species that is pathogenic for humans and that to date has only been found in Europe. Finally, we identified a new genotype of unknown pathogenicity, genotype AT, that was isolated from Amblyomma testudinarium ticks and that is closely related to a Slovakian genotype obtained from Ixodes ricinus ticks.
In May 1999, field surveys of Lyme disease spirochetes were conducted around the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern People's Republic of China. Ixodes persulcatus ticks were obtained in a Tianchi Lake valley with primary forest, while the tick fauna was poor in the semidesert or at higher altitudes in this region. Species identities were confirmed by molecular analysis in which an internal transcribed spacer sequence was used. Of 55 adult ticks, 22 (40%) were positive for spirochetes as determined by Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly culture passages. In addition, some rodents, including Apodemus uralensis (5 of 14 animals) and Cricetulus longicaudatus (the only animal examined), and some immature stages of I. persulcatus (4 of 11 ticks) that had fed on A. uralensis were positive for spirochetes. Based on 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and reactivity with monoclonal antibodies, 35 cultures (including double isolation cultures) were identified as Borrelia garinii (20 isolates, including 9 Eurasian pattern B isolates and 11 Asian pattern C isolates), Borrelia afzelii (10 pattern D isolates), and mixed cultures (5 cultures, including isolates that produced B. garinii patterns B and C plus B. afzelii pattern D). These findings revealed that Lyme disease pathogens are distributed in the mountainous areas in northwestern China even though it is an arid region, and they also confirmed the specific relationship between I. persulcatus and genetic patterns of Borrelia spp. on the Asian continent.
We report a patient with Japanese spotted fever caused by Rickettsia japonica who developed shock associated with hypercytokinemia. Elevated levels of cytokines (macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin 1 beta, interleukin 10, and gamma interferon) decreased rapidly after a combination treatment using an antibiotic (minocycline hydrochloride [MINO]) and methylprednisolone; however, tumor necrosis factor alpha levels were increased. The patient's fever relapsed and was resolved only after the addition of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride. The administration of new quinolones alone may be another useful form of treatment to eradicate R. japonica even if the symptoms of hypercytokinemia appear to improve with the administration of MINO and methylprednisolone.
Borrelia sp. prevalence in ticks on migratory birds was surveyed in central Japan. In autumn, a total of 1,733 birds representing 40 species were examined for ticks. A total of 361 ticks were obtained from 173 birds of 15 species, and these ticks were immature Haemaphysalis flava (94.4%), Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes columnae, Ixodes persulcatus, Ixodes turdus, and an unidentified Ixodes species. Of these, 27 juveniles of H. flava on Turdus pallidus, Turdus cardis, or Emberiza spodocephala, 2 juveniles of I. persulcatus on T. pallidus, and 1 female H. flava molted from a T. pallidus-derived nymph were positive for the presence of Borrelia by Barbour-Stoenner-Kelly culture passages. In spring, a total of 16 ticks obtained from 102 birds of 21 species were negative for the spirochete. Isolates from 15 ticks were characterized by 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; all isolates were identified as Borrelia garinii with pattern B/B′ based on the previous patterning. According to the intergenic spacer sequences, 2 of 15 isolates, strains Fi14f and Fi24f, were highly similar to B. garinii strains 935T of Korea and ChY13p of Inner Mongolia, China, respectively. These findings indicate that Lyme disease-causing B. garinii may have been introduced to Japan by migratory birds from northeastern China via Korea. Additionally, a case of transstadial transmission of B. garinii from nymph to adult H. flava suggests that the infected H. flava may transmit Borrelia to large animals.
Fifty-nine Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato culture isolates collected from northeastern China were characterized by 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and reactivity with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Among 59 culture isolates, 30 (50.8%) were Borrelia garinii and 17 (28.8%) were Borrelia afzelii, 2 were mixtures composed of B. garinii with RFLP pattern B and B. garinii with pattern C, and 9 were mixtures composed of B. garinii and B. afzelii. One isolate, ChY13p, produced a unique pattern and was identified as B. garinii based on analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequence, flagellin PCR-RFLP typing, and MAb reactivities. No Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto or Borrelia japonica isolates were detected. The results indicate that Lyme disease Borrelia species in northeastern China resemble those of Borrelia isolates from far eastern Russia and Japan.