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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jun 1;183(11):1669-72. Epub 2001 Apr 23.

Quantitation of BK virus load in serum for the diagnosis of BK virus-associated nephropathy in renal transplant recipients.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


BK virus-associated nephropathy is an increasingly recognized cause of graft dysfunction among kidney transplant recipients, and definitive diagnosis requires renal biopsy. By using a newly developed, quantitative, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for BK virus DNA, a retrospective analysis was done of sequential serum samples (n=28) from 4 transplant recipients with histopathologically documented BK virus nephropathy and from samples (n=76) from 16 transplant recipient control patients. BK virus DNA was detected in serum samples from all 4 case patients versus 0 of 16 control patients (P< .0001, Fisher's exact test) at a median of 32 weeks (range, 17-61 weeks) before the diagnosis of BK virus nephropathy. BK virus load decreased in 3 of 3 patients after the reduction of immunosuppression and/or nephrectomy. It is concluded that quantitative PCR for BK virus DNA in serum is useful both for identifying transplant recipients at risk for BK virus nephropathy and for monitoring the response to therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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