General Information: This organism is the causative agent of scrub typhus, and like other members of the Rickettsiales is an obligate intracellular organism. Scrub typhus, which occurs in rural and agricultural areas, is one of the most common infectious diseases in southeast Asia where an estimated 1 million cases occur each year. Many cases are mild, but if left untreated, a variety of serious illnesses can arise and fatality rates can range from 1-35%. Transmission occurs via an insect vector through the bite of the larval trombiculid mite (chiggers). The bacterium is transmitted transovarially in mites (from females to their offspring).