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: viral infection | TORCH | cytomegalovirus | hepatitis | HIV | parvovirus | polio | rubella virus | chickenpox | Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus | Zika virus | human papillomavirus | rotavirus | West Nile virus | varicella virus | vaccination | zoonotic infection | environment
Historic Embryology - Viral 
1941 Rubella Cataracts | 1944 Rubella Defects

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. Bonthius DJ & Perlman S. (2007). Congenital viral infections of the brain: lessons learned from lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in the neonatal rat. PLoS Pathog. , 3, e149. PMID: 18052527 DOI.
  2. <pubmed>19253314</pubmed>
  3. Lewis VJ, Walter PD, Thacker WL & Winkler WG. (1975). Comparison of three tests for the serological diagnosis of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. J. Clin. Microbiol. , 2, 193-7. PMID: 1100673
  4. McCausland MM & Crotty S. (2008). Quantitative PCR technique for detecting lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in vivo. J. Virol. Methods , 147, 167-76. PMID: 17920702 DOI.



Jamieson DJ, Kourtis AP, Bell M & Rasmussen SA. (2006). Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: an emerging obstetric pathogen?. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. , 194, 1532-6. PMID: 16731068 DOI.

Wright R, Johnson D, Neumann M, Ksiazek TG, Rollin P, Keech RV, Bonthius DJ, Hitchon P, Grose CF, Bell WE & Bale JF. (1997). Congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus syndrome: a disease that mimics congenital toxoplasmosis or Cytomegalovirus infection. Pediatrics , 100, E9. PMID: 9200383


McCausland MM & Crotty S. (2008). Quantitative PCR technique for detecting lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in vivo. J. Virol. Methods , 147, 167-76. PMID: 17920702 DOI.

Kotturi MF, Peters B, Buendia-Laysa F, Sidney J, Oseroff C, Botten J, Grey H, Buchmeier MJ & Sette A. (2007). The CD8+ T-cell response to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus involves the L antigen: uncovering new tricks for an old virus. J. Virol. , 81, 4928-40. PMID: 17329346 DOI.

Barton LL, Mets MB & Beauchamp CL. (2002). Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: emerging fetal teratogen. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. , 187, 1715-6. PMID: 12501090

Barton LL & Mets MB. (2001). Congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection: decade of rediscovery. Clin. Infect. Dis. , 33, 370-4. PMID: 11438904 DOI.

Barton LL, Peters CJ & Ksiazek TG. (1995). Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: an unrecognized teratogenic pathogen. Emerging Infect. Dis. , 1, 152-3. PMID: 8903188 DOI.

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Search Pubmed: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 13) Embryology Abnormal Development - Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Abnormal_Development_-_Lymphocytic_Choriomeningitis_Virus

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