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J Gen Virol. 2012 Apr;93(Pt 4):698-705. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.039156-0. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Seroprevalence of human polyomavirus 9 and cross-reactivity to African green monkey-derived lymphotropic polyomavirus.

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Division of Viral Infections, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.


Human polyomavirus 9 (HPyV9) was discovered recently in immunocompromised patients and shown to be genetically closely related to B-lymphotropic polyomavirus (LPyV). No serological data are available for HPyV9, but human antibodies against LPyV have been reported previously. To investigate the seroepidemiology of HPyV9 and the sero-cross-reactivity between HPyV9 and LPyV, a capsomer-based IgG ELISA was established using the major capsid protein VP1 of HPyV9 and LPyV. VP1 of an avian polyomavirus was used as control. For HPyV9, a seroprevalence of 47 % was determined in healthy adults and adolescents (n = 328) and 20 % in a group of children (n =101). In both groups, the seroreactivities for LPyV were less frequent and the ELISA titres of LPyV were lower. Of the HPyV9-reactive sera, 47 % reacted also with LPyV, and the titres for both PyVs correlated. Sera from African green monkeys, the natural hosts of LPyV, reacted also with both HPyV9 and LPyV, but here the HPyV9 titres were lower. This potential sero-cross-reactivity between HPyV9 and LPyV was confirmed by competition assays, and it was hypothesized that the reactivity of human sera against LPyV may generally be due to cross-reactivity between HPyV9 and LPyV. The HPyV9 seroprevalence of liver transplant recipients and patients with neurological dysfunctions did not differ from that of age-matched controls, but a significantly higher seroprevalence was determined in renal and haematopoietic stem-cell transplant recipients, indicating that certain immunocompromised patient groups may be at a higher risk for primary infection with or for reactivation of HPyV9.

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