[Clinical manifestations and epidemic factors of autumn-winter type scrub typhus in children from northern new endemic area].Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2008 Feb; 46(2):128-31.ZE
Scrub typhus is an infectious disease due to Orientia tsutsugamushi transmitted by infected chigger mites. Scrub typhus has long been recognized to occur in southern areas of China, but has recently been increasingly often reported from the north since the first case was reported in Mengyin County, Shandong Province in 1986. The key objectives of the present study were to investigate the clinical manifestations and epidemic factors of scrub typhus in children from the northern new natural foci.
The case records of 56 children with scrub typhus who were admitted to the 5 hospitals of Fei County from September 1993 to January 2004 were reviewed. Orientia tsutsugamushi (Ot) was isolated from the cases. Based on ecological observations on the composition, seasonal fluctuation of animal hosts and chigger mites, Ot was isolated from rodents and chiggers. IgG antibodies to Ot was detected by IFA. Genotypes of the Ot isolates were also identified by nested PCR.
Among 56 children scrub typhus cases, 46 were male, 10 were female; 96% exhibited typical eschars or ulcers, 100% cases had high fever, skin rashes were observed in 55 cases (98%), and regional lymphadenopathy occurred in 48 cases (86%). All cases came from countryside, and all had histories of exposure to the crop field. fifty-one serum samples of suspected patients with scrub typhus were collected, 48 were positive for antibodies to Ot. The serotypes were Gilliam types. The cases only appeared in September to December with the peak at mid and late October. Leptotrombidium (L.) scutellare was the most important vector causing scrub typhus in the foci. Apodemus (A.) agrarius was the main host animals of Ot in the crop field. Totally 26 strains were isolated from patients, rodents, and chigger mites. The serotypes of 24 out of the 26 isolates were Gilliam types, while the genotypes of these isolates were Kawasaki types. The serotypes of the other 2 isolates were identical and both were Karp types.
Children scrub typhus patients were frequently seen in the new natural foci of Shandong province. Exposure history, typical eschars or ulcers, and presence of IgG antibody were the important indexes to diagnose the disease.