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Archives



August 27, 1999 Update

Prepared by Dr. Michael Huerkamp


What have we done? To date, we have tested 184 colony (non-sentinel) mice by serologic means and found no evidence of MPV antibody other than in 10 sentinels. Interestingly, 8 of the 10 seropositive sentinels were from the same stock, source and batch of mice received in March 1999 and used for health surveillance in the Rollins Building. The assessment of 184 mice should be sufficient to detect at least one infected mouse with a 99% level of confidence if the prevalence of MPV infection is 2.5% or more. Another 16 serology samples are pending. That is the good news. The bad news is that it may take up to 6 weeks for an individual mouse to seroconvert following MPV infection. Thus, the negative serology results are only reflective of the health status of the mice up to 2-6 weeks ago and it is possible that we could be on the cusp of seroconversion of more mice. However, we have also used PCR to assess for MPV in the mesenteric lymph nodes of 38 mice and an additional 15 samples are pending. PCR enables us to detect MPV DNA suggestive of infection and has also permitted us to expand our breadth of testing to include immunosuppressed mice incapable of mounting a diagnostic humoral response.

The assessment of 38 mice is sufficient to detect at least one infected mouse with a 95% level of confidence if the prevalence of infection is at least 7.5%. The assessment to date of a total of 222 mice is sufficient to detect at least one positive with a 99% level of confidence if the prevalence of MPV is 2% or greater. It remains to be seen whether we have a low prevalence of infection or early detection of acute infection. What are we doing? The accumulation and testing of the total of 253 mice has met our immediate objective and two weeks ahead of schedule. Based upon our findings, a prime suspicion for infection in the Rollins Building is that we may have purchased seropositive sentinels or the sentinels may have become infected shortly after acquisition. In pursuit of this possibility, all remaining mice from the March sentinel shipment have been sent to necropsy for MPV assessment by serology and lymph node PCR. In addition, the DAR is concentrating diagnostic efforts on the five quarantined rooms (Eye BT 414, Eye BT 419, Rollins G22, Rollins G23, Rollins G24) in an attempt to identify pockets of infection. The sentinel program has been beefed-up to provide more intensive monitoring of all of our colonies through the use of more sentinels, more frequent testing, changes in the sentinel exposure strategy, and retraining of the DAR staff. As it may take considerable time to find infected animals and manage them, we need and appreciate everyone's continued cooperation with the wearing of garb and adherence to preventive medicine procedures as described in the main "Mouse Parvovirus Outbreak" posting.