Investigation of Ehrlichia chaffeensis Infections in Rodents in Kinmen Area, 2012

Ming Hui Weng, Hui Ping Tsai, Pey Ru Lin, Kuo Ching Cheng, Ming Der Guo, Wen Tssann Liu

2014 Vol.30 NO.7

Correspondence Author: Ming Hui Weng

  • Institute of Preventive Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, New Taipei City, Taiwan


       The investigation of Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections in wild rodents was conducted on the main island of Kinmen on October 16-18, 2012. Livers and spleens were obtained from 108 rodents, including 2 Rattus norvegicus, 73 Rattus losea exiguus, and 33 Suncus murinus, followed by DNA extraction and nested PCR. E. chaffeensis DNA was detected in 16 rodents (14.8%), from liver in 4 rodents, from spleen in 10 rodents, and from both liver and spleen in 2 rodents. In terms of geographic distribution, rodents captured from 8 out of 10 field sites were positive for E. chaffeensis DNA, suggesting that E. chaffeensis could be widely present in wilderness areas of Kinmen. Therefore, when a patient who develops fever of unknown origin after tick bites is recognized in these areas, our investigation results can be used as a reference for diagnosis.

Keywords:Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rattus losea exiguus, nested PCR, liver, spleen