Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is an important virus of the laboratory mouse from a number of perspectives. Foremost is its well-documented zoonotic potential for humans. Mus musculus and its various aboriginal and commensal species or subspecies represent the natural reservoir hosts for LCMV, with an intimate host-virus relationship. This relationship may involve subclinical persistent infection that is associated with minimal or undetectable levels of circulating antibody; thus, detection of infection can be a challenge. LCMV infects a wide variety of tissues, and infection of mice can have protean effects upon normal physiology and immune response, with deleterious impact upon research. The polytropism of LCMV and its noncytolytic course of infection contribute to a well-deserved reputation as a cryptic contaminant of tumors and cell lines. This chapter emphasizes the biology of LCMV as a naturally occurring infection of laboratory mice and the practical consequences of infection. Experimental studies provide insight into understanding the biology of natural infection and are therefore reviewed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas