Rat/Mice Diseases - Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) is defined as “a viral infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and of the cerebrospinal fluid.
  • This disease occurs primarily in wild mice. However, mice can carry the virus and transmit it without becoming ill.
  • Mice can become infected at a pet store by contact with other infected rodents (rats and hamsters) or from contact with urine or feces from infected wild rodents.
  • The virus is transmitted by coughing or sneezing or by direct contact with the urine or saliva of infected animals.
  • The incubation period in adult mice is 5 to 6 days.
  • Infection is diagnosed through blood tests.
  • Mice with this virus can infect humans, in whom it can cause serious illness. It may cause influenza-like signs or viral meningitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Infection in pregnant women may result in miscarriage or birth defects.
  • Life expectancy of mice can be decreased by a few months. In addition, reproductive success may be impaired, and infected female mice may give birth to stunted litters.

    • Symptoms:
    • weight loss
    • weakness
    • convulsions
    • blepharitis
    • tremors
    • photophobia
    • growth retardation
    • rough hair coat
    • glomerulonephritis
    • emaciation
    • hunched posture

    Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus
    • There is no effective treatment.
    • Affected animals should be euthanized and the cage should be appropriately sanitized and disinfected.

    • Wash hands with soap and water after handling pet rodents; use waterless alcohol-based hand rubs when soap is not available.
    • Keep rodent cages clean and free of soiled bedding.
    • Clean the cage in a well-ventilated area or outside.
    • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning up pet droppings. Closely supervise young children, especially those less than five years old, when cleaning cages, and make sure they wash their hands immediately after handling rodents and rodent caging or bedding.
    • Do not kiss pet rodents or hold them close to your face.