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Congenital lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus: A review.

INTRODUCTION: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) uses rodents such as mice and hamsters as its principal reservoir. When women acquire LCMV during pregnancy because of contact with rodents, it can lead to congenital LCMV infection, which is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Although the number of cases reported in the literature is increasing, LCMV is rarely mentioned because a history of exposure to rodents is uncommon and mostly unknown.

OBJECTIVES: The main objective of this article was to summarize all morphological, antenatal, and postnatal abnormalities that may suggest a congenital LCMV infection.

METHODS: We reviewed PubMed case reports and case series where an antenatal and/or a postnatal description of at least one case of congenital LCMV infection was documented.

RESULTS: We found 70 cases of congenital LCMV infection, 68 of which had antenatal or postnatal brain abnormalities, which were mainly chorioretinitis (59/70), hydrocephaly (37/70), microcephaly (22/70), ventriculomegaly (11/70) and periventricular calcifications (11/70). Antenatal and postnatal extracerebral abnormalities were mainly small for gestational age, ascites, cardiomegaly or anemia. Other organ damage was rare, but could include skin abnormalities, hydrops or hepatosplenomegaly. Seventy percent (49/70) of cases had major cerebral abnormalities that could have been detected by antenatal ultrasound examination. Congenital LCMV infection is associated with a significant mortality rate (30%) and survivors often have severe neurologic sequelae.

CONCLUSION: LCMV is a rare congenital infection, but awareness of the various prenatal ultrasound morphological abnormalities should be improved, and LCMV should be considered when first-line etiological explorations are negative, especially when the mother's medical history indicates exposure to rodents.

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