Chronic infections induced at birth with either LCM, an RNA virus, or polyoma, a DNA virus, in NZB, NZW, and NZB x W mice enhance ANA formation, aggravate the immune complex glomerulonephritis, and increase the associated mortality. The ANA titer was increased without apparent change in specificity of the antibodies involved in all three types of mice. Glomerulonephritis, while more severe in infected mice, was of the same type as occurred spontaneously and was characterized by a granular to lumpy accumulation of host IgG and C3 in the mesangia and along the capillary walls of the glomeruli. Of the LCM infected mice of all three types over 50% had died of glomerulonephritis by 6 months and over 85% by 9 months. Of the polyoma infected mice of all three types approximately 20% had died of glomerulonephritis by 6 months and over 40% by 9 months. Of the uninfected controls of all three types less than 10% had died by 6 months and less than 20% at 9 months except for the NZB x W females which had a 67% mortality at 9 months as a result of their spontaneous glomerulonephritis.
The two viral infections had significant effect on the incidence of anti-red cell antibodies or the severity of autoimmune hemolytic anemia in any of the three NZ mice.