Scrub typhus, an acute febrile infectious disease caused by R. tsutsugamushi, has been reported from various parts of the far east and pacific rim of Asia including Korea. It is well known that all human pathogenic rickettsia share an affinity to endothelial cells of the small blood vessels and evoke vascular inflammation variably associated with a rash, microthrombi, and hemorrhage. We infected the ICR mice by inoculating sublethal doses of R. tsutsugamushi R19 strain intraperitoneally and observed the pathologic changes by time sequence. The histopathologic features of experimentally induced scrub typhus in the mice were generally nonspecific interstitial inflammations characterized by interstitial pneumonitis, periportal inflammation, multifocal hepatic necrosis, interstitial nephritis, sinusoidal engorgement, and lymphohistiocytic cell infiltration in lymph nodes and spleen. Contrary to the general features of other rickettsial diseases, the pathologic process of scrub typhus experimentally induced by R. tsutsugamushi R19 strain mainly involved the interstitial connective tissue but not the blood vessels.
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