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Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus 

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus

Daniel J. Bonthius

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date: 30 July 2021

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), an arenavirus, is a prevalent pathogen and an important and underrecognized cause of neurologic birth defects. LCMV utilizes rodents as its principal reservoir. Rodents that acquire the virus transplacentally often remain asymptomatic because congenital infection provides immunological tolerance for the virus. Humans typically acquire LCMV by direct contact with fomites contaminated with infectious virus, from rodents, or by inhalation of aerosolized virus. Congenital LCMV infection occurs when a woman acquires the virus during pregnancy. The virus is passed to the fetus transplacentally, presumably during maternal viremia. Published reports of LCMV infection during pregnancy make it clear that LCMV can be a severe neuroteratogen. Prospective epidemiological or clinical studies of congenital LCMV infection are needed to gain more knowledge about the incidence and spectrum of LCMV-induced teratogenicity. The clinical presentation of congenital LCMV is reviewed, along with recommendations for diagnostic studies and information about long-term prognosis.

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