Mouse Polyoma Viruses (K Virus, Polyoma virus)

Etiology:  Mouse polyoma viruses are nonenveloped DNA viruses which often originate in wild mice.

Incidence:  The incidence of infection is extremely rare in laboratory mice.

Transmission:  Natural transmission of polyoma virus most likely occurs through a respiratory route. K virus is transmitted through consumption of feces.   Transplantable tumors and other biological specimens are important sources of infection [5].

Clinical Signs:  Mice do not display clinical signs with natural infection with polyoma viruses.  In experimentally inoculated naive neonatal and immunocompromised mice, Polyoma virus can induce tumor formation, paralysis and wasting.  K virus may induce an interstitial pneumonia in neonatal or immune compromised mice [6].

Diagnosis:  Serological detection of the virus can be performed in immunocompetent mice using MFI or IFA.  PCR is a highly sensitive and specific detection technique.


5.            Swanson, P.A., 2nd, A.E. Lukacher, and E. Szomolanyi-Tsuda, Immunity to polyomavirus infection: the polyomavirus-mouse model. Semin Cancer Biol, 2009. 19(4): p. 244-51.

6.            Greenlee, J.E., Pathogenesis of K virus infection in newborn mice. Infect Immun, 1979. 26(2): p. 705-13.