The wood mouse is a natural host for Murid herpesvirus 4

Kim Blasdell, Christina McCracken, Andy Morris, Anthony A Nash, Mike Begon, Malcolm Bennett, James P Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infection of laboratory mice by the Murid herpesvirus 4 (MHV-4) is a much studied model system for gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis. Little, however, is known about its natural host range, epidemiology and pathogenesis outside the laboratory. We have studied MHV-4 infection in free-living murids in the UK. Using a combination of serology and PCR analysis, we found that MHV-4 was endemic in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) but not in two species of voles (Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus agrestis). The sites of detection of viral DNA were the lungs and, less commonly, the spleen, emphasizing the importance of the former in virus persistence during natural infection and confirming similar data in laboratory mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPt 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Arvicolinae
  • DNA, Viral
  • Herpesviridae Infections
  • Lung
  • Muridae
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rhadinovirus
  • Rodent Diseases
  • Spleen
  • Tumor Virus Infections


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