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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3010001

The Re-Emergence and Emergence of Vector-Borne Rickettsioses in Taiwan

1
Institute of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, No. 17, Xu-Zhou Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
2
Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department, Infectious Diseases Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
3
Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, No. 17, Xu-Zhou Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Abstract

Rickettsial diseases, particularly vector-borne rickettsioses (VBR), have a long history in Taiwan, with studies on scrub typhus and murine typhus dating back over a century. The climatic and geographic diversity of Taiwan’s main island and its offshore islands provide many ecological niches for the diversification and maintenance of rickettsiae alike. In recent decades, scrub typhus has re-emerged as the most prevalent type of rickettsiosis in Taiwan, particularly in eastern Taiwan and its offshore islands. While murine typhus has also re-emerged on Taiwan’s western coast, it remains neglected. Perhaps more alarming than the re-emergence of these rickettsioses is the emergence of newly described VBR. The first case of human infection with Rickettsia felis was confirmed in 2005, and undetermined spotted fever group rickettsioses have recently been detected. Taiwan is at a unique advantage in terms of detecting and characterizing VBR, as it has universal health coverage and a national communicable disease surveillance system; however, these systems have not been fully utilized for this purpose. Here, we review the existing knowledge on the eco-epidemiology of VBR in Taiwan and recommend future courses of action. View Full-Text
Keywords: vector-borne rickettsioses (VBR); scrub typhus; murine typhus; spotted fever group rickettsiae; Rickettsia felis; Anaplasmataceae; re-emerging; emerging; Taiwan vector-borne rickettsioses (VBR); scrub typhus; murine typhus; spotted fever group rickettsiae; Rickettsia felis; Anaplasmataceae; re-emerging; emerging; Taiwan
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Minahan, N.T.; Chao, C.-C.; Tsai, K.-H. The Re-Emergence and Emergence of Vector-Borne Rickettsioses in Taiwan. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 1.

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