Korean Journal of Veterinary Research 1989;29(4):531-540.
Studies on the rabbit viral hepatitis I. Electron microscopic observation of the acute hepatic lesions in experimentally infected rabbit
Cha-soo Lee, Cheong-kyu Park
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University
토끼의 바이러스성(性) 간염(肝炎)에 관(關)한 연구(硏究) I. 실험적(實驗的) 감염토(感染兎)의 급성간염조직(急性肝炎組織)의 전자현미경적(電子顯微鏡的) 관찰(觀察)
이차수, 박청규
경북대학교 수의과대학
A new sudden death in rabbits appeared in China and Korea in 1984 and 1985, respectively, and was recognized to be an acute infectious disease caused by a virus. The disease was reported as a "new viral disease," and thereafter, a tentative name of "viral hemorrhagic disease", "hemorrhagic pneumonia" or "viral hemorrhagic pneumonia" has been described in the case reports. But authors had called the viral disease "rabbit viral hepatitis" due to picornavirus infection, because the principal lesion of the disease was an acute hepatitis. The purpose of this report is to describe the electron microscopic findings on the livers in experimentally infected rabbits. All the livers of the affected rabbits were shown to have degenerative changes of a type that is characteristic of acute hepatitis. In the liver cells, there were dilation of rER and mitochondria, vacuole formation of various sizes, and appearances of many virus-like particles in the vicinity of rER, granular bodies and crystalline arrays of viral particles in the cytoplasm with necrotic changes of the nucleus. Clusters of virus-like particles and viral crystals appeared in the cytoplasm of sinusoid endothelial cells and Kupffer's cells with morphological changes of organelles. Also viral crystals were demonstrated in the cytoplasm of macrophages among the liver cells. On the whole, the liver cells had many virus-like particles and a few crystalline arrays of viral particles. Therefore, this implies that the liver cells are the main site of the viral replication in inducing the viremia. It was concluded that the liver was the primary target organ of this viral disease, and the pathological and the ultrastructural evidence suggest that the virus may be belong to genus enterovirus.
Key Words: acute viral hepatitis, picornavirus, rabbit

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