Mouse Thymic Virus (MTV, MTLV)

DNA virus, enveloped; Family: Herpesviridae.
 
Prevalence
Affects mice, common in wild mice but rare in laboratory animals.
 
Diagnosis
Serology and/or PCR. Histology (intranuclear inclusion bodies) of thymus in young animals.
 
Disease
Infection of neonates <10days will result in immunosuppression and lesion of thymic necrosis and to a lesser degree splenic and lymph node necrosis. In animals >10days, infection is asymptomatic.
 
Screening
Regular serology as deemed necessary by the individual institutions. 
 
Transmission
Viru sercretion via saliva with persistence in the salivary glands causing chronic, asymptomatic infection. Possibly via milk as well.
 
Duration
Persistant. 
 
Significance
MTV can cause chronic immunosuppression in animals ingfected prior to 10 days of age. In some strains, MTV may cause autoimmune disease. 
 
Control
Pathogen exclusion by exclusion of wild mice and quarantine and screening of new mice. 
 
Reading
  • Infectious Diseases of Mice and Rats National Research Council 1991.
  • Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits, 3rd Edn., Dean H Percy & Stephen W Barthold, 2007.
  • University of Missouri, Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory website, http://www.radil.missouri.edu