A naturally occurring epizootic caused by Sendai virus in breeding and aging rodent colonies. I. Infection in the mouse

Zurcher, C.; Burek, J.D.; Van Nunen, M.C.; Meihuizen, S.P.

Laboratory Animal Science 27(6): 955-962


ISSN/ISBN: 0023-6764
PMID: 202798
Accession: 068523902

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An acute Sendai virus epizootic occurred simultaneously in a breeding colony, in experimental and stock animal rooms, and in a colony of aging mice. During the 2-month period that the infection was at its maximum, death rates were approximately doubled. In some strains, the preweanling death rate reached 100%. RFM and BALB/c mice were most susceptible and NZB mice least susceptible. The mortality during the period of Sendai virus infection was increased for most strains and age groups except for the oldest female RFM and NZB mice. Death rates during the epizootic were lowest in young adult mice (greater than 10 weeks of age) and highest in the very young mice (less than 10 weeks of age) and in the oldest male and the moderately aged female mice. Although a substantial number of older mice died during the epizootic, examination of the age-specific death rates indicated that the increase in deaths remained relatively constant for all ages over 10 weeks. This showed that the older mice were not more susceptible to Sendai virus infection. As a sequela of the epizootic, focal chronic pneumonia was found in 10-40% of the mice coming to necropsy even 1 year later.