Association of zoonotic Ljungan virus with intrauterine fetal deaths

Bo Niklasson, Annika Samsioe, Nikos Papadogiannakis, Anne Kawecki, Birger Hörnfeldt, George R. Saade, William Klitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: It has recently been shown that Ljungan virus (LV) is associated with disease in its wild rodent reservoir. In addition, it has been demonstrated that LV causes malformations and perinatal death in a mouse model. The question was therefore raised whether LV is a zoonotic agent in humans. METHODS: Population fluctuations of native rodents in Sweden were compared to the incidence of intrauterine fetal deaths (IUFDs) using the Swedish national hospitalization database. Formalin-fixed tissues from cases of IUFD were investigated using LV-specific immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Variation in the incidence of IUFDs closely tracked the fluctuations in native rodent populations. LV was detected in the brain tissue in 4 of 10 cases of IUFDs investigated by immunochemistry. LV was also detected in the placenta in 5 of the 10 IUFD cases, but in none of 20 placentas from normal pregnancies. CONCLUSIONS: LV may play an important role in IUFDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-493
Number of pages6
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infection
  • Intrauterine deaths
  • Ljungan virus
  • Zoonotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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