Abstract and Introduction
We report congenital microencephaly caused by infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in the fetus of a 29-year-old pregnant women at 23 weeks' gestation. The diagnosis was made by ultrasonography and negative results for other agents and confirmed by a positive PCR result for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in an amniotic fluid sample.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is an arenavirus, discovered by Armstrong and Lillie in 1933 that chronically infects small rodents. Humans can be infected by direct contact with rodents or their fomites, or by inhaling aerosolized particles. In immunocompetent adults, LCMV infection leads to an influenza-like illness or aseptic meningitis that usually resolves spontaneously; infection can also be asymptomatic.
When women are infected during pregnancy, the virus can be transmitted to the embryo or fetus transplacentally. Infection causes risk for miscarriage; in utero fetal death; fetopathy, including severe central nervous system or ocular malformations; and severe neurologic sequelae.
Little is known about the incidence and prevalence of LCMV. The association of Zika virus and microcephaly has been reviewed. Therefore, it is essential to emphasize that other viruses acquired during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and must be considered in differential diagnoses. We report a case of microcephaly caused by LCMV that was diagnosed prenatally.
Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2017;23(9):1548-1550. © 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)