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Open Access Outbreak of Hind Limb Paralysis in Young CFW Swiss Webster Mice

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An outbreak of paralysis among 16- to 20-week-old CFW Swiss Webster sentinel mice developed in one of our barrier facilities. Two months after arrival and over a period of four weeks, six of 400 mice purchased from an approved vendor, developed progressive hind limb paralysis without other clinical signs of disease. On the basis of the histopathologic changes and negative serologic test results, lymphoblastic lymphoma causing compression of the spinal cord was diagnosed. There were two leading features to this outbreak: its unusual epidemiologic presentation, and the localization of the lesions principally in the lumbar muscles. A presumptive diagnosis of retroviral infection with Abelson's murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV) was established on the basis of histopathologic and immunohistochemical findings. Little is known about retroviral status in many commercial colonies, and few users report presence of spontaneous lymphomas. This report points out complications derived from commercially available animals that carry endogenous retroviruses. It also emphasizes the need of diagnosing and reporting clusters of hind limb paralysis or lymphomas in mice to assess the prevalence and relevance of retroviral infections in commercial colonies.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 630 Charles E. Young South, CHS 1V-211, Los Angeles, California 90095-1718 2: Department of Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, 630 Charles E. Young South, CHS 1V-211, Los Angeles, California 90095-1718

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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