The Newsroom    Published Thursday, May. 25, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus — An Old Enemy up to New Tricks

New England Journal of Medicine (Internet / Print) 05/25/06 http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/21/2208 Editorial by Dr. Clarence Peters: What should be done about controlling LCMV in organ transplantation? The testing of potential donors by means of polymerase chain reaction or immunohistochemical analysis is theoretically possible but would be extremely expensive and, judging from these two donors, not necessarily effective. The determination of a history of ownership of a pet rodent is neither sensitive nor specific to LCMV infection. One obvious way to reduce the risk of human infection with LCMV is to have suppliers of pet rodents screen their colonies for the infection. Regulations to ensure the absence of virus in rodent colonies would reduce the risk of LCMV infection posed to pet owners and decrease the risk of transmission from transplanted organs. Such screening seems justified, given the serious nature of LCMV disease and the particular risk to fetuses: LCMV infection in pregnant women is an increasingly recognized cause of hydrocephalus, mental retardation, and chorioretinitis in newborns.



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