Murine norovirus (MNV) is a recently discovered pathogen that has become a common contaminant of specific pathogen-free mouse colonies. MNV-1 induces a robust interferon-β response and causes histopathology in some mouse strains, suggesting that it may impact other mouse models of infection. Despite many concerns about MNV-1 contamination, there is little information about its impact on immune responses to other infections. This study addresses whether MNV-1 infection has an effect on a model of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. Exposure to MNV-1 resulted in a decreased CD8 T cell response to immunodominant MCMV epitopes in both BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. However, MNV-1 did not impact MCMV titers in either mouse strain, nor did it stimulate reactivation of latent MCMV. These data suggest that while MNV-1 has a mild impact on the immune response to MCMV, it is not likely to affect most experimental outcomes in immunocompetent mice in the MCMV model.
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