Ahead of Print -Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus, South Korea, 2013 - Volume 20, Number 11—November 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 20, Number 11—November 2014
Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus, South Korea, 2013
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is a newly emerging infectious disease. Symptoms and laboratory abnormalities are fever, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and elevated serum enzyme levels. Multiorgan failure occurs in severe cases, and 6%–30% of case-patients die. The syndrome is caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV) (genus Phlebovirus, family Bunyaviridae). SFTS case-patients were first reported in China (1) and more recently were reported in Japan (2) and South Korea (3). Two case-patients with symptoms consistent with a similar virus, Heartland virus, were reported in the United States (4).
Ixodid tick species are implicated as vectors of SFTSV (1,5,6). One study described a SFTSV prevalence in Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks, a major vector of SFTSV, of 0.46% minimum infection rate in South Korea (7); in another study, SFTSV was detected in ticks that had bitten humans (6). From these studies, we realized that SFTSV was common throughout the country. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of SFTS in South Korea and isolate the SFTSV to analyze its phylogenetic properties.
Figure 1. Isolation of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) from case-patients, South Korea, 2013. A) Indirect immunofluorescent features of Vero E6 cells primed with SFTSV N protein monoclonal antibody and reacted...
Dr. Sun-Whan Park is a senior researcher at the Division of Arboviruses, National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His research focuses on bunyaviruses, including SFTSV and hantavirus.
We thank all involved in SFTS diagnosis in 2013, especially the staff in 17 regional Institutes of Health and Environment. We also thank Young Eui Jeong and Ki Ju Choi for technical support with molecular evolution and the electron microscope.
This study was financially supported by the Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (program no. ******************** and 4800-4861-304-210-13 [grant no. 2014-NG53002-00]).
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Suggested citation for this article: Park S-W, Han M-G, Yun S-M, Park C, Lee W-J, Ryou J. Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, South Korea, 2013. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 Nov [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2011.140888