Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease that presents as aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the membrane, or meninges, that surrounds the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningoencephalitis (inflammation of both the brain and meninges). Its causative agent is the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a member of the family Arenaviridae that was initially isolated in 1933.
Symptoms and Signs: Some people infected with LCMV do not become ill. For infected persons who do become ill, onset of symptoms usually occurs 8-13 days after being exposed to the virus. A characteristic biphasic febrile illness then follows. The initial phase, which may last as long as a week, typically begins with any or all of the following symptoms: fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms that appear less frequently include sore throat, cough, joint pain, chest pain, testicular pain, and parotid (salivary gland) pain.
LCMV has also been known to cause acute hydrocephalus (increased fluid on the brain), which often requires surgical shunting to relieve increased intracranial pressure. In rare instances, infection results in myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) and presents with symptoms such as muscle weakness, paralysis, or changes in body sensation. An association between LCMV infection and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles) has been suggested.
The highest response rate of symptoms included profound fatigue (81%), weakness (76%), muscle aches (75%), poor concentration (71%), poor memory (68%), tingling/numbness (66%), sleep disorder (66%), stiff neck (65%), brain fog (64%), dizziness (64%), migratory joint pain (64%) and headaches (61%). It is interesting to note that the erythema migrans (EM) rash was only present in 48% of the patients at the start of the illness and 25% have multiple EM?s during the course of the illness.