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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2007 Feb;5(1):105-15.

Antivirals for the treatment of polyomavirus BK replication.

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University Hospital of North Norway, Department of Microbiology and Infection Control, PO Box 56, N-9038 Tromsø, Norway. christine.rinaldo@unn


Antiviral drugs with specific activity against polyomavirus replication have not been developed in the past. This deficiency has become fully apparent with the emergence of polyomavirus-associated nephropathy in kidney-transplant recipients, with a prevalence rate of up to 10%. In most cases, high BK virus replication in tubular epithelial cells causes significant cytopathology, leading to permanently impaired renal allograft function and return to hemodialysis within 6-60 months. In 5-10% of allogenic bone marrow/hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, high-level BK virus replication in the ureter/bladder mucosa has been associated with postengraftment hemorrhagic cystitis, which appears to involve significant immunopathology. Thus, in view of the increasing clinical need, a number of drugs have been studied in small case series. We review the antiviral strategies explored to date and specifically discuss available in vivo and in vitro data on cidofovir, leflunomide, fluoroquinolones and intravenous immunoglobulins, regarding mechanism, administration, dosing and outcome and provide a perspective on future therapy options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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