We propose the name Rickettsia japonica sp. nov. (with type strain YH [= ATCC VR-1363]) for a serologically specific species of spotted fever group rickettsiae that are pathogenic for humans (J. Infect. Dis. 159:1122-1126, 1989; J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:1177-1180, 1990). The biologic and genomic characteristics of the organism (G+C content, 31.2 ± 0.7 mol%) are essentially the same as those of other pathogenic spotted fever group rickettsiae, although the R. japonica isolates cause a persistent infection in Vero cells for many subcultures.
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