, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 19-23

Occurrence of high ratio of males after introduction of minocycline in a colony of leptotrombidium fletcheri infected with orientia tsutsugamushi

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Abstract

In colonies of Leptotrombidium fletcheri mites infected with Orientia tsutsugamushi (Ot), the agent of scrub typhus, males rarely appear. In the present study, the development of a high ratio of males was observed after introduction of minocycline (MC). A high dose of MC was injected subcutaneously into a mouse, and by feeding unfed larvae from an infected mite colony on this mouse, the Ot in the mites were successfully killed. Of a total of 130 unfed larvae attached to the mouse, 29 developed into females; of these, 9 laid an average of 112.4 eggs/female. Unfed larvae in the succeeding generations were attached to untreated mice. All adults in the P and F1 generations were females, and males started to appear at the F2 generation. The ratio of males to females was 332:7, 108:13, 263:61 and 71:9 at the F2, F3, F4 and F5 generations, respectively. These data suggest that Ot in the ovary or gonad may suppress the development of males.