A review of murine cytomegalovirus as a model for human cytomegalovirus disease—do mice lie?

Michelle A. Fisher, Megan L. Lloyd

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Since murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) was first described in 1954, it has been used to model human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) diseases. MCMV is a natural pathogen of mice that is present in wild mice populations and has been associated with diseases such as myocarditis. The species-specific nature of HCMV restricts most research to cell culture-based studies or to the investigation of non-invasive clinical samples, which may not be ideal for the study of disseminated disease. Initial MCMV research used a salivary gland-propagated virus administered via different routes of inoculation into a variety of mouse strains. This revealed that the genetic background of the laboratory mice affected the severity of disease and altered the extent of subsequent pathology. The advent of genetically modified mice and viruses has allowed new aspects of disease to be modeled and the opportunistic nature of HCMV infection to be confirmed. This review describes the different ways that MCMV has been used to model HCMV diseases and explores the continuing difficulty faced by researchers attempting to model HCMV congenital cytomegalovirus disease using the mouse model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number214
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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