A range of different RNA-viruses infects rodents and rabbits. In immune-competent animals, RNA-virus infection is normally nonpersisting, except for those viruses able to incorporate themselves into the genome of the host, i.e., retroviruses or those viruses only generating an insufficient immune-response, e.g., lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. The morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses vary greatly. Most of these viruses are host-specific with the major exception of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, but they are antigenically that close that the same virus is often stated to be able to infect more than one species, although infection in different species is probably caused by differing substrains.

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