Murine Cytomegalovirus (MCMV) & Rat Cytomegalovirus (RCMV)

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Herpes virus specific to mice (MCMV) and rats (RCMV). Enveloped DNA virus

Growth Conditions

Mouse and rat embryo fibroblasts, kidney cells

Health Hazards

Host Range

Mice (MCMV) and rats (RCMV). Not infectious to humans or other animals. MCMV is rare in laboratory mice but common in wild mice.

Modes of Transmission

MCMV and RCMV are excreted through tears, saliva, and urine. Vertical transmission may also occur. Natural infectious are localized to the salivary glands.

Signs and Symptoms

Natural infectious do not show any clinical signs. Lesions found at submandibular salivary gland. Latent infections found in many tissues. Minor central nervous system and myocardial symptoms may occur.

Infectious Dose


Incubation Period

Infection in mice or rats is life-long.

Medical Precautions/Treatment


None available.


None available.


Depopulation of infected animals


Regular testing of colonies for antibodies to MCMV or RCMV

Emory Requirements

Report any exposures.

Laboratory Hazards

Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs)

Does not cause infection in humans



Supplemental References

Canadian MSDS

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets 


Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 



In vitro experiments involving MCMV or RCMV.


House mice or rats infected with MCMV or RCMV at ABSL-2 to protect other mice or rats from becoming infectious.

Spill Procedures


Notify others working in the lab. Allow aerosols to settle. Don appropriate PPE. Cover area of the spill with paper towels and apply an EPA registered disinfectant, working from the perimeter towards the center. Allow 30 minutes of contact time before disposal and cleanup of spill materials.


Contact Emory’s Biosafety Officer (404-727-8863),
the EHSO Office (404-727-5922), or
The Spill Response Team (404-727-2888).

Exposure Procedures

Mucous membrane

Flush eyes, mouth or nose for 15 minutes at eyewash station.

Other Exposures

Wash area with soap and water for 15 minutes.


Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete an employee incident report in PeopleSoft.

Medical Followup 
  • 7am-4pm (OIM): EUH (404-686-7941) EUHM (404-686-7106) WW (404-728-6431)

  • After Hours: OIM NP On Call 404-686-5500 PIC# 50464

  • Needle Stick (OIM): EUH (404-686-8587) EUHM (404-686-2352)

  • Yerkes: Maureen Thompson Office (404-727-8012) Cell (404-275-0963)



30% ethanol and isopropanol, 1% sodium hypochlorite, formaldehyde, 0.12% ortho phenylphenol, and 0.04% glutaraldehyde


Heat (56˚C for 30 minutes), low pH, UV light, cycles of freezing/thawing

Survival Outside Host

Dry surfaces (a few hours – 7 days); bedding – 2 hours; plexiglass – 4-8 hours

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Minimum PPE Requirements

At minimum, personnel are required to don gloves, closed toed shoes, lab coat, and appropriate face and eye protection prior to working with MCMV and RCMV. Additional PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs.

Additional Precautions