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Arch Virol. 2005 Jul;150(7):1449-58. Epub 2005 Mar 17.

Human endothelial cells allow passage of an archetypal BK virus (BKV) strain--a tool for cultivation and functional studies of natural BKV strains.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.


The ubiquitous human polyomavirus BK (BKV) causes the serious condition BKV-nephropathy in an increasing number of renal-transplant patients. The lack of authentic cell cultures for multiplication of naturally occurring strains has hampered cultivation and functional studies of BKV. Here we demonstrate that the most common urine shed BKV strain, the archetype, multiplies in the human endothelial cell line HUV-EC-C. Additional variants with deletions in the non-coding control region (NCCR) appear upon prolonged propagation. Although the titer produced was low, at the present HUV-EC-C is the only cell line shown to allow propagation of archetypal BKV. HUV-EC-C may therefore be a useful tool for BKV cultivation as well as functional studies.

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