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Open Access Minute Virus of Mice: Antibody Response, Viral Shedding, and Persistence of Viral DNA in Multiple Strains of Mice

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Minute virus of mice (MVM) is a major concern for laboratory animal facilities because it remains with considerably high prevalence despite strict barrier systems. The aim of this study was to elucidate potential risks associated with MVM infection by investigating the role of the genetic background on antibody production and persistence as well as viral shedding. Mice of various strains and stocks were inoculated oronasally with the immunosuppressive strain MVMi; in addition, natural infection was modeled through contact exposure. As determined by serology, seroconversion and serum levels of IgG differed considerably among strains and stocks, especially in the contact-exposed group. For example, C57BL/6J mice responded well to exposure in contrast to FVB/N, NMRI, ICR, and C3H/HeN mice. Titration studies indicated that the viral dose necessary to induce seroconversion was strain-dependent. Experiments to dissect the role of the major histocompatibility complex haplotype in the response to MVMi gave inconclusive results. To detect viral persistence, spleens and feces were analyzed by PCR at 16 wk after exposure, and the infectivity of PCR-positive spleens was investigated by IP and oronasal inoculation of naive mice. Although DNA was detected in the spleens of some mice, feces remained negative, and naive mice were not infected by inoculation. In addition, viral shedding declined rapidly after day 20 postinoculation. In summary, the data show that seroconversion and antibody response to MVMi infection depend on the genetic background of mice, with the infective dose being a critical factor. The role of viral DNA in chronically infected mice will require further elucidation.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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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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