High diversity and ancient common ancestry of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

Cesar G. Albariño, Gustavo Palacios, Marina L. Khristova, Bobbie R. Erickson, Serena A. Carrol, James A. Comer, Jeffrey Hui, Thomas Briese, Kirsten St. George, Thomas G. Ksiazek, W. Ian Lipkin, Stuart T. Nichol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is the prototype of the family Arenaviridae. LCMV can be associated with severe disease in humans, and its global distribution reflects the broad dispersion of the primary rodent reservoir, the house mouse (Mus musculus). Recent interest in the natural history of the virus has been stimulated by increasing recognition of LCMV infections during pregnancy, and in clusters of LCMV-associated fatal illness among tissue transplant recipients. Despite its public health importance, little is known regarding the genetic diversity or distribution of virus variants. Genomic analysis of 29 LCMV strains collected from a variety of geographic and temporal sources showed these viruses to be highly diverse. Several distinct lineages exist, but there is little correlation with time or place of isolation. Bayesian analysis estimates the most recent common ancestor to be 1,000-5,000 years old, and this long history is consistent with complex phylogeographic relationships of the extant virus isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1100
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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