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Masuoka P.,Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Klein T.A.,U.S. Army | Kim H.-C.,Medical Detachment 5th | Claborn D.M.,Missouri State University | And 10 more authors.
Geospatial Health | Year: 2010

Over 35,000 cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE) are reported worldwide each year. Culex tritaeniorhynchus is the primary vector of the JE virus, while wading birds are natural reservoirs and swine amplifying hosts. As part of a JE risk analysis, the ecological niche modeling programme, Maxent, was used to develop a predictive model for the distribution of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus in the Republic of Korea, using mosquito collection data, temperature, precipitation, elevation, land cover and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The resulting probability maps from the model were consistent with the known environmental limitations of the mosquito with low probabilities predicted for forest covered mountains. July minimum temperature and land cover were the most important variables in the model. Elevation, summer NDVI (July-September), precipitation in July, summer minimum temperature (May-August) and maximum temperature for fall and winter months also contributed to the model. Comparison of the Cx. tritaeniorhynchus model to the distribution of JE cases in the Republic of Korea from 2001 to 2009 showed that cases among a highly vaccinated Korean population were located in high-probability areas for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus. No recent JE cases were reported from the eastern coastline, where higher probabilities of mosquitoes were predicted, but where only small numbers of pigs are raised. The geographical distribution of reported JE cases corresponded closely with the predicted high-probability areas for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, making the map a useful tool for health risk analysis that could be used for planning preventive public health measures.

Kim H.C.,Medical Detachment 5th | Lee I.Y.,Yonsei University | Chong S.T.,Medical Detachment 5th | Richards A.L.,Naval Medical Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Korean Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2010

Comprehensive quarterly serosurveillance on scrub typhus in small mammals collected from military training sites located near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), northern Gyeonggi-do (Province), ROK was conducted to determine the potential rodent-borne and associated ectoparasite disease risks to military personnel. A total of 1,196 rodents and insec- tivores representing 8 species, Apodemus agrarius (87.3%, n = 1,044), Mus musculus (5.4%, n = 65), Crocidura lasiura (3.3%, n = 40), Microtus fortis (2.6%, n = 31), Micromys minutus (0.3%, n = 4), Tscherskia triton (0.3%, n = 4), Rattus norvegicus (0.3%, n = 4), and Myodes regulus (0.3%, n = 4) were assayed for the presence of antibodies to Orientia tsut- sugamushi. O. tsutsugamushi antibodies were detected in 6 of 8 species and seroprevalence determined; A. agrarius (45.6%), M. musculus (23.1%), M. fortis (48.4%), M. minutus (50.0%), T. triton (50.0%), and R. norvegicus (25.0%). A total of 31,184 chigger mites collected from 508 rodents and insectivores were slide-mounted and 10 species belonging to 4 genera were identified. Leptotrombidium pallidum (53.4%) was the most frequently collected, followed by L. palpale (15.7%), Neotrombicula tamiyai (14.3%), L. orientale (10.7%), L. zetum (3.1%), Walchia fragilis (2.1%), and L. gemiticu- lum (0.8%), while the remaining 3 species, L. subintermedium, N. gardellai, and Euschoengastia koreaensis were rarely observed (prevalence < 10%). In contrast to previous surveys, higher chigger indices of the primary scrub typhus vectors, L. pallidum (165.4), L. orientale (45.0), and L. palpale (21.4), were observed during the spring season.

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