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J Med Virol. 2010 Feb;82(2):325-30. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21684.

Sequence variations of the VP1 gene of Polyomavirus hominis 1 among Bulgarians.

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Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Department of Virology, National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria.


Polyomavirus hominis 1 (BK virus, BKV) is an important pathogen in the field of transplantation medicine. BKV reactivation among renal-transplant recipients could cause BK associated nephropathy, which has unfavorable prognosis and is a cause for graft rejection. It is not clear why only few transplanted patients develop BK associated nephropathy while most exhibit asymptomatic viruria. One of the possible reasons lies in the mutations of the VP1 gene, encoding the main structural protein, bearing important determinants for the recognition of specific cellular receptors. The change of amino acid sequence could result in altered pathogenicity of BKV. The amplified sequences of BK in this research were from urines of patients with various clinical conditions along with healthy individuals. Nevertheless the sequence analysis which was undertaken did not show correlation between the viral genotype and the clinical condition. It was demonstrated that the most common BKV genotype in Bulgaria is genotype I and that the strains common in Bulgaria (genotypes I and IV) have typical European origin. Most of the sequenced BKV DNA samples (8/10) were correlated with the highest degree of similarity (81%) to the subcluster Ib. A specific place among the samples is taken by Pr-9, amplified from the urine of a pregnant woman that has a different evolutionary origins and might establish the beginning of a new distinct BKV strain.

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