Abnormal Development - Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus

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Infected infant head CT scan[1]

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is carried by wild mice (Mus musculus). Laboratory rodents and pet rodents, such as rats, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs, can become infected with LCMV from contact with wild mice. This can happen in a breeding facility, in a laboratory facility, in a pet store, or in the home if wild mice are present. Humans can be infected through exposure to rodent excreta. In the rat animal model, the virus appears to selectively infect mitotically active neuronal precursors, while glial cells may also have a role in the initial entry, replication, and dispersion.

Maternal infection can be transferred placental to fetus and can result in either loss or birth defects (hydrocephalus, chorioretinitis or deafness). Since LCMV infection was first identified, more than 50 babies have been reported with LCMV infection worldwide.

Viral Links: TORCH Infections | Cytomegalovirus | Hepatitis Virus | HIV | Parvovirus | Polio Virus | Rubella Virus | Chickenpox | Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus | Zika Virus | Vaccination | Environmental

Some Recent Findings

  • A case of congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection revealed by hydrops fetalis.[2]

Virus Structure

Lineage: Viruses; ssRNA negative-strand viruses; Arenaviridae; Arenavirus; Old world arenaviruses; Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (strain Armstrong)
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (strain Pasteur)
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (strain Traub)
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (strain WE)

Links: Genome

Virus Detection

Diagnosis of congenital LCMV infection can be confirmed in infants by immunofluorescence antibody (IFA)[3], enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR, or real time PCR (rtPCR)).[4]


  1. Daniel J Bonthius, Stanley Perlman Congenital viral infections of the brain: lessons learned from lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in the neonatal rat. PLoS Pathog.: 2007, 3(11);e149 PubMed 18052527 | PLoS Pathog.
  2. J F Meritet, A Krivine, F Lewin, M H Poissonnier, R Poizat, P Loget, F Rozenberg, P Lebon A case of congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection revealed by hydrops fetalis. Prenat. Diagn.: 2009, 29(6);626-7 PubMed 19253314
  3. V J Lewis, P D Walter, W L Thacker, W G Winkler Comparison of three tests for the serological diagnosis of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. J. Clin. Microbiol.: 1975, 2(3);193-7 PubMed 1100673
  4. Megan M McCausland, Shane Crotty Quantitative PCR technique for detecting lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in vivo. J. Virol. Methods: 2008, 147(1);167-76 PubMed 17920702



Denise J Jamieson, Athena P Kourtis, Michael Bell, Sonja A Rasmussen Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: an emerging obstetric pathogen? Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.: 2006, 194(6);1532-6 PubMed 16731068

R Wright, D Johnson, M Neumann, T G Ksiazek, P Rollin, R V Keech, D J Bonthius, P Hitchon, C F Grose, W E Bell, J F Bale Congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus syndrome: a disease that mimics congenital toxoplasmosis or Cytomegalovirus infection. Pediatrics: 1997, 100(1);E9 PubMed 9200383


Megan M McCausland, Shane Crotty Quantitative PCR technique for detecting lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in vivo. J. Virol. Methods: 2008, 147(1);167-76 PubMed 17920702

Maya F Kotturi, Bjoern Peters, Fernando Buendia-Laysa, John Sidney, Carla Oseroff, Jason Botten, Howard Grey, Michael J Buchmeier, Alessandro Sette The CD8+ T-cell response to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus involves the L antigen: uncovering new tricks for an old virus. J. Virol.: 2007, 81(10);4928-40 PubMed 17329346

Leslie L Barton, Marilyn B Mets, Cynthia L Beauchamp Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: emerging fetal teratogen. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.: 2002, 187(6);1715-6 PubMed 12501090

L L Barton, M B Mets Congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection: decade of rediscovery. Clin. Infect. Dis.: 2001, 33(3);370-4 PubMed 11438904

L L Barton, C J Peters, T G Ksiazek Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: an unrecognized teratogenic pathogen. Emerging Infect. Dis.: 1995, 1(4);152-3 PubMed 8903188


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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology Abnormal Development - Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus. Retrieved November 18, 2017, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Abnormal_Development_-_Lymphocytic_Choriomeningitis_Virus

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© Dr Mark Hill 2017, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G