Do mites transmit disease?

Some mites can transmit (‘vector’) certain microbes that may cause infection and disease. The most prominent mite-associated disease is called scrub typhus, and is caused by a rickettsia transmitted by chiggers (larval mites) throughout parts of the Asia-Pacific region of the world. The chiggers of North America do not transmit scrub typhus. Another disease, rickettsialpox, is far more widespread throughout the world, including in North America. This is caused by yet another rickettsial agent (Rickettsia akari), and is transmitted by the house mouse mite (Liponyssoides sanguineus). This seems to particularly affect people in urban areas where the house mouse is common in homes and apartment buildings.

House mice are a vector for mites such as Liponyssoides sanguineus which can cause rickettsialpox


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