[Source: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Prevalence of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus in Ticks Collected from National Parks in Korea
Young-Sun Jo, Jun-Gu Kang, Jeong-Byoung Chae, Yoon-Kyoung Cho, Jeong-Hwa Shin, Weon-Hwa Jheong, and Joon-Seok Chae
Published Online: 27 Nov 2018 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2018.2338
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging viral disease in East Asian countries, including China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The causative agent of SFTS is the SFTS virus (SFTSV), which is transmitted by ticks. To investigate the prevalence of SFTSV in the ROK, a total of 9744 ticks were collected from vegetation in five national parks between July and November 2015. Of the collected adult and nymph ticks, Haemaphysalis longicornis (68.44%) was the most abundant, followed by Haemaphysalis flava (29.66%), Ixodes nipponensis (1.56%), and Amblyomma testudinarium(0.34%). Collected larval ticks were of the genera Haemaphysalis (99.61%) and Ixodes (0.39%). One-step RT-PCR and nested PCR were used to detect SFTSV-specific genes from each individual adult and nymph tick and pooled larval ticks. SFTSV was detected in 4.77% (48/1006) in H. longicornis, 1.15% (5/436) in H. flava, 0% (0/23) in I. nipponensis, and 20% (1/5) in A. testudinarium. The infection rate of SFTSV in adult and nymph ticks was 3.61%. The prevalence of SFTSV in adult and nymph ticks was relatively high, compared with previous reports. In larval ticks, the minimum infection rate was 0.31%. SFTSV was detected in ticks collected from both trail and nontrail areas in the national parks, and up to 800 meters above sea level. The sequences obtained showed 99.4–99.7% homology with SFTS virus S segment sequences from Chinese and Japanese ticks.
Keywords: SFTSV; South Korea; Ticks.