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Pediatr Nephrol. 2007 Sep;22(9):1243-50. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

BK virus infection, replication, and diseases in pediatric kidney transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy is diagnosed in 2-8% of pediatric renal transplants and often precedes renal allograft dysfunction. Without intervention, however, significant graft dysfunction is observed in more than 50% of cases, although progressive early graft loss is reported in only three of 32 (9%) of cases. No specific treatment is available, but early decrease in immunosuppression is followed by declining human polyomavirus type 1 (BK virus) replication and improved outcome. The data suggest differences between pediatric and adult kidney transplantation. Possibly, pediatric patients might be able to mount a more vigorous BK virus-specific immune response than adult patients under similar modulation of immunosuppression. Also the role of cidofovir and leflunomide is still unresolved in pediatric patients. Larger prospective trials are needed to better define the impact of BK virus immunity for replication and disease as well as the role of reducing immunosuppression with or without cidofovir or leflunomide in pediatric transplant patients.

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