Vigilance Urged for Virus Transmitted by Pet Rodents

Three organ transplant recipients died in 2005 after donor was likely infected by a pet hamster

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Infectious disease specialists are aware of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), but few would test for the rodent-borne virus in immunocompromised patients with unexplained fever, according to a small survey of Connecticut physicians published online April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In May 2005, three organ transplant recipients died after receiving organs from a donor probably infected with the virus by a pet hamster. James L. Hadler, M.D., of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and colleagues conducted an e-mail survey of 35 infectious disease specialists and a phone survey of acute-care hospital laboratories in August 2005.

Seventeen of the 28 physicians who responded said they had considered an LCMV diagnosis in the previous five years, and nine requested testing. None of Connecticut's acute care hospital laboratories conducted LCMV testing on-site, the authors found. Many physicians reported contemplating a LCMV diagnosis in patients exposed to wild or pet rodents, but only six said they would do so in immunosuppressed patients.

"In part because of these findings, LCMV is now a physician- and laboratory-reportable disease in Connecticut," the authors write. "More systematic efforts are needed to determine the frequency of LCMV infection and to monitor for pet rodent infection."

Full Text

Clare Kittredge

Clare Kittredge

Updated on April 18, 2006

Read this Next
About UsOur ProductsCustom SolutionsHow it’s SoldOur ResultsDeliveryContact UsBlogPrivacy PolicyFAQ