Detection of Lactate Dehydrogenase Elevating Virus in a Mouse Vivarium Using an Exhaust Air Dust Health Monitoring Program

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2020 May 1;59(3):328-333. doi: 10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-19-000107. Epub 2020 Feb 20.


Lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus (LDV) continues to be one of the most common contaminants of cells and cell byproducts. As such, many institutions require that tumor cell lines, blood products, and products derived or passaged in rodent tissues are free of LDV as well as other pathogens that are on institutional exclusion lists prior to their use in rodents. LDV is difficult to detect by using a live-animal sentinel health monitoring program because the virus does not reliably pass to sentinel animals. After switching to an exhaust air dust health monitoring system, our animal resources center was able to detect a presumably long-standing LDV infection in a mouse colony. This health monitoring system uses IVC rack exhaust air dust collection media in conjunction with PCR analysis. Ultimately, the source of the contamination was identified as multiple LDV-positive patient-derived xenografts and multiple LDV-positive breeding animals. This case study is the first to demonstrate the use of environmental PCR testing as a method for detecting LDV infection in a mouse vivarium.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterivirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Arterivirus Infections / virology
  • Cell Line, Tumor / virology
  • Dust
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Heterografts
  • Housing, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus / isolation & purification*
  • Mice*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rodent Diseases / virology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / virology


  • Dust