During a search for latent vectors of scrub typhus in a focus of the autumn-winter type of this disease, the authors isolated O. tsutsugamushi from larval and nymphal L. linhuaikongense. Isolated O. tsutsugamushi serotyped by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Larval L. linhuaikongense were initially found in May on the bodies of rodents captured in the field. The infestation reached a peak in August and disappeared in November; chiggers were thus abundant during summer. Nymphal L. linhuaikongense were reared from larvae collected from rodents. Two strains of O. tsutsugamushi were isolated from 4 pools of larvae and 3 pools of nymphs, respectively. This implies that L. linhuaikongense is a potential vector of O. tsutsugamushi, chiefly to rodents but occasionally to humans, during non-endemic seasons.
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Vol. 7 • No. 1