The prevalence of human breast cancer (HBC) is affected by several parameters. For the past decades MMTV, Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus, known to cause breast cancer in mice, has been hypothesized to affect the frequency of hormone dependent HBC. Though conclusive evidence has not been produced, still more studies support this, mainly by finding sequences up to 95% homologous to MMTV in HBC tumors. These sequences are, however, only very rarely found in healthy tissue. Furthermore, the geographic overlap between increased frequency of HBC and the range of M. domesticus found in USA and Australia and the fact that human cells can be infected in vitro strengthen the theory. Results from above mentioned studies indicate that the source of provirus is exogenous. The transmission mechanism is tentatively suggested to be by means of recombination of exogeneous and endogenous viruses obtained from contaminated food or via other mammals as intermediate hosts. The aim of this project is to develop a protocol to detect endogenous MMTV in the Danish population of Mus musculus, M. domesticus and hybrid mice from southern Denmark, the known hybrid zone of the two species. Based on these results it will be possible to investigate which factors influence the prevalence of MMTV, for instance population density, sex or biotic factors.
Mus musculus domesticus; Human breast cancer, MMTV; Denmark
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European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, 2008