Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)

Etiology:  Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus is an enveloped RNA virus (arenavirus).

Incidence:  The incidence of LCMV is rare.

Transmission:  In research settings, infection occurs from injection of contaminated biologics; other possible routes could include exposure to wild rodents with subsequent entry of the virus through mucous membranes or broken skin.

Clinical Signs:  Clinical signs have not been reported in cases of natural infection.

Pathology:   Lesions in subclinically infected guinea pigs are not described.  Splenic necrosis is present in the acute phase of experimental infection.  Lymphocytic infiltrates in meninges, choroid and around vessels in the liver and kidney have been observed.

Diagnosis:  Serology (MFI and IFA) can be used to diagnose infection.  Virus can also be detected by virus isolation and identification, and by PCR of the kidney and spleen.

Public Health Significance:  LCMV has zoonotic potential [1].

1.            Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus From Pet Rodents. National Center For Infectious Disease Healthy Pets Healthy People 2012 July 28, 2010 [cited 2012 June 14, 2012]; Available from: