Trombiculid mites (Acari: Trombiculidae) are distributed worldwide ectoparasites of a wide range of vertebrates. More than 50 species are known to bite humans, and about 20 have medical importance. The larval stages (chiggers) of the genus Leptotrombidium are vectors of Orientia tsutsugamushi, causative agent of scrub typhus. This life-threatening disease is widely endemic in Asian Pacific regions where more than one billion people are at risk of acquiring the infection and around one million new cases are estimated to occur annually. In addition, although underreported and often misdiagnosed, trombiculiasis, defined as a dermatitis caused by the salivary secretion of biting chiggers, is present in America and Europe.
Part of the book: An Overview of Tropical Diseases