Sudden infant death syndrome and Ljungan virus
- 210 Downloads
Ljungan virus (LV) has recently been associated with perinatal death in its natural rodent reservoir and also with developmental disorders of reproduction in laboratory mice. A strong epidemiological association has been found between small rodent abundance in Sweden and the incidence of intrauterine fetal death (IUFD) in humans. LV antigen has been detected in half of the IUFD cases tested. The question was therefore raised whether sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) might be associated with rodent abundance, and whether the virus is present in cases of SIDS. Variation in the incidence of SIDS using the Swedish cause-of-death database tracked the changes in the population fluctuations of native rodents. Formalin-fixed tissues from the brain, heart, and lung were investigated from cases of SIDS, SIDS with lymphocytic infiltration of the myocardium (myocarditis) and myocarditis cases using LV specific immunohistochemistry (IHC). Ljungan virus was detected in the brain, heart, and lung tissue from all three of the patient categories investigated using IHC. These studies suggest that LV may play a prominent role in infant death, and that IUFD and SIDS may have common etiological underpinnings.
KeywordsForensic science Sudden infant death Sudden unexplained death in infants Myocarditis Ljungan virus Zoonosis Rodent virus Immunohistochemistry
We are grateful for the excellent technical assistance of Anne Kawecki.
- 12.Rognum TO. The story of the Stavanger-definition. In: Rognum TO, editor. Sudden infant death syndrome. New trends in the nineties. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian University Press; 1995.Google Scholar
- 13.Byard RW, Krous HF, editors. Definition and pathologic features. Sudden infant death syndrome. Problem, progress & possibilies. London: Arnold; 2001.Google Scholar
- 14.Rognum TO, Arnestad M, Bajanowski T. Consensus on diagnostic criteria for the exclusion of SIDS. Nordisk rettsmedisin. 2003;3(4):49–88.Google Scholar
- 20.Niklasson B, Samsioe S, Papadogiannakis N, Gustafsson S, Klitz W. Zoonotic Ljungan virus associated with central nervous system malformations in terminated pregnancy. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2009 [Epub ahead of print].Google Scholar
- 25.Gregersen M, Rajs J, Laurrsen H. Pathological criteria for the Nordic study of the sudden infant death syndrom. In: Rognum TO, editor. Sudden infant death syndrome. New trends in the nineties. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian University Press; 1995. p. 56–58.Google Scholar
- 36.Donoso Mantke O, Kallies R, Niklasson B, Nitsche A, Niedrig M. A new quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay and melting curve analysis for detection and genotyping of Ljungan virus strains. J Virol Methods. 2007;141(1):71–7. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2006.11.029.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 40.Batzli GO, editor. Wildlife 2001. London: Elsevier Applied Science; 2001.Google Scholar
- 44.Alvarez-Lafuente R, Aguilera B, Suarez-Mier MA, Morentin B, Vallejo G, Gomez J, et al. Detection of human herpesvirus-6, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus in formalin-fixed tissues from sudden infant death: a study with quantitative real-time PCR. Forensic Sci Int. 2008;178(2–3):106–11. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2008.02.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar