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Epidemiological Characteristics of Field Tick-Borne Pathogens in Gwang-ju Metropolitan Area, South Korea, from 2014 to 2018
Jung Wook Park, Seung Hun Lee, Gi Seong Lee, Jin Jong Seo, Jae Keun Chung
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):177-184.   Published online August 31, 2020
  • 4,130 View
  • 86 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

The importance of tick-borne diseases is increasing because of climate change, with a lack of long-term studies on tick-borne pathogens in South Korea. To understand the epidemiological characteristics of tick-borne diseases, the monthly distribution of field ticks throughout the year was studied in South Korea between May 2014 and April 2018 in a cross sectional study.


The presence of various tick-borne pathogens (Rickettsia species, Borrelia species, Anaplasma phagocytophilum) was confirmed by using polymerase chain reaction, to provide information for a prevention strategy against tick-borne pathogenic infections, through increased understanding of the relationship between seasonal variation and risk of infection with Rickettsia species. This was performed using logistic regression analysis (SPSS 20, IBM, USA) of the data obtained from the study.


During the study period there were 11,717 ticks collected and 4 species identified. Haemapysalis longicornis was the most common species (n = 10,904, 93.1%), followed by Haemapysalis flava (n = 656, 5.6%), Ixodes nipponensis (n = 151, 1.3%), and Amblyomma testudinarium (n = 6, 0.05%) The results of this cross-sectional study showed that Haemapysalis flava carried a higher risk of transmission of Rickettsia species than other tick species (p < 0.05).


In conclusion, due attention should be paid to preventing tick-borne infections in humans whilst engaged in outdoor activities in Spring and Autumn, particularly in places where there is a high prevalence of ticks.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Molecular Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia Species in Ticks Removed from Humans in the Republic of Korea
    Yu-Jung Kim, Ji Ye Seo, Seong Yoon Kim, Hee Il Lee
    Microorganisms.2022; 10(6): 1224.     CrossRef
  • Molecular Detection and Phylogeny of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Collected from Dogs in the Republic of Korea
    A-Tai Truong, Jinhyeong Noh, Yeojin Park, Hyun-Ji Seo, Keun-Ho Kim, Subin Min, Jiyeon Lim, Mi-Sun Yoo, Heung-Chul Kim, Terry A. Klein, Hyunkyoung Lee, Soon-Seek Yoon, Yun Sang Cho
    Pathogens.2021; 10(5): 613.     CrossRef
  • iSeq 100 for metagenomic pathogen screening in ticks
    Ju Yeong Kim, Myung-hee Yi, Alghurabi Areej Sabri Mahdi, Tai-Soon Yong
    Parasites & Vectors.2021;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Molecular Identification of Borrelia spp. from Ticks in Pastures Nearby Livestock Farms in Korea
    Haeseung Lee, Seung-Hun Lee, SungShik Shin, Dongmi Kwak
    Insects.2021; 12(11): 1011.     CrossRef
Serological Detection of Lyme Borreliosis Agents in Patients From Korea, 2005–2009
Sang-Hee Park, Kyu-Jam Hwang, Hyuk Chu, Mi-Yeoun Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(1):29-33.   Published online June 30, 2011
  • 1,834 View
  • 13 Download
  • 13 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Laboratory tests are now being used to identify seropositive cases in patients suspected of having a Lyme borreliosis (LB) infection. From 2005 to 2009, we analyzed the serological and epidemiological characteristics of 53 LB positive cases in Korea using immunoblot assay.
During the five-year study period, a total of 1897 serum samples from suspected LB cases were referred to us for further laboratory diagnosis. The bacterial strains Borrelia afzeli pKo, Borrelia garinii 935T and Borrelia burgdorferi B31 were used for indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay. Immunoblot assay was performed using the recomBlot Borrelia.
Based on the information from the clinicians, the main symptoms of LB infection were rash and fever (66.0%), neurological symptoms (30.2%), and arthritis (5.7%). Of the 53 cases, 16 (30.2%) were infected abroad and the remaining 37 cases (69.8%) were suspected to have been infected in Korea. Immunoblot assays detected high levels of the antigens p41 (FlaB) of B. burgdorferi and OspC of B. garinii in infected samples.
The causative bacteria of LB were not isolated from humans yet but from vector ticks and rodents in Korea, and a few cases were reported with serological diagnosis. Our results suggest that LB is present in all areas of Korea and indicate that B. garinii and B. burgdorferi may be the predominant bacteria in patients with LB. However, further studies are needed to isolate and identify the causative bacteria for LB in patients.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Surveillance and Molecular Identification of Borrelia Species in Ticks Collected at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Republic of Korea, 2018–2019
    Seung-Ho Lee, Sung-Tae Chong, Heung-Chul Kim, Terry A Klein, Kyungmin Park, Jingyeong Lee, Jeong-Ah Kim, Won-Keun Kim, Jin-Won Song, Sarah Hamer
    Journal of Medical Entomology.2022; 59(1): 363.     CrossRef
  • Seroepidemiologic Survey of Lyme Disease among Forestry Workers in National Park Offices in South Korea
    Dilaram Acharya, Ji-Hyuk Park
    International Journal of Environmental Research an.2021; 18(6): 2933.     CrossRef
  • Molecular Identification of Borrelia spp. from Ticks in Pastures Nearby Livestock Farms in Korea
    Haeseung Lee, Seung-Hun Lee, SungShik Shin, Dongmi Kwak
    Insects.2021; 12(11): 1011.     CrossRef
  • A case of Henoch-Schönlein purpura associated with scrub typhus
    Jae Hyoung Im, Suk Jin Choi, Moon-Hyun Chung, Seung Yun Lee, Young Kyoung Park, Hea Yoon Kwon, Ji Hyeon Baek, Jin-Soo Lee
    BMC Infectious Diseases.2020;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Geographical Distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ticks Collected from Wild Rodents in the Republic of Korea
    Seong Yoon Kim, Tae-Kyu Kim, Tae Yun Kim, Hee Il Lee
    Pathogens.2020; 9(11): 866.     CrossRef
  • Molecular Detection and Characterization of Borrelia garinii (Spirochaetales: Borreliaceae) in Ixodes nipponensis (Ixodida: Ixodidae) Parasitizing a Dog in Korea
    Seung-Hun Lee, Youn-Kyoung Goo, Paul John L. Geraldino, Oh-Deog Kwon, Dongmi Kwak
    Pathogens.2019; 8(4): 289.     CrossRef
  • Development of a borreliosis assay: Mannan coated polyethylene sinter bodies as a new platform technology
    Mohammed Alasel, Nina Dassinger, Doru Vornicescu, Michael Keusgen
    Analytical Biochemistry.2018; 543: 55.     CrossRef
  • Promising alternatives for one-tier testing of Lyme borreliosis
    Mohammed Alasel, Michael Keusgen
    Clinica Chimica Acta.2018; 479: 148.     CrossRef
  • Borrelia Species Detected in Ticks Feeding on Wild Korean Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis) Using Molecular and Genotypic Analyses
    D. VanBik, S. H. Lee, M. G. Seo, B. R. Jeon, Y. K. Goo, S. J. Park, M. H. Rhee, O. D. Kwon, T. H. Kim, P.J.L. Geraldino, D. Kwak
    Journal of Medical Entomology.2017; 54(5): 1397.     CrossRef
  • Detection of SFTS Virus inIxodes nipponensisandAmblyomma testudinarium(Ixodida: Ixodidae) Collected From Reptiles in the Republic of Korea
    Jae-Hwa Suh, Heung-Chul Kim, Seok-Min Yun, Jae-Won Lim, Jin-Han Kim, Sung-Tae Chong, Dae-Ho Kim, Hyun-Tae Kim, Hyun Kim, Terry A. Klein, Jaree L. Johnson, Won-Ja Lee
    Journal of Medical Entomology.2016; 53(3): 584.     CrossRef
  • Epidemiological Features and Clinical Manifestations of Lyme Borreliosis in Korea during the Period 2005^|^ndash;2012
    Shinje Moon, Yeongseon Hong, Kyu-Jam Hwang, Suyeon Kim, Jihye Eom, Donghyok Kwon, Ji-Hyuk Park, Seung-Ki Youn, Aeree Sohn
    Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases.2015; 68(1): 1.     CrossRef
  • Autochthonous Lyme Borreliosis in Humans and Ticks in Korea
    Shinje Moon, Jin Gwack, Kyu Jam Hwang, Donghyuk Kwon, Suyeon Kim, Yoontae Noh, Jongyul Roh, E-hyun Shin, Kyungjin Jeong, Wonseok Seok, Seung-Ki Youn
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2013; 4(1): 52.     CrossRef
  • The Road Less Traveled
    Chaeshin Chu
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2011; 2(1): 1.     CrossRef

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives