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World J Pediatr. 2013 Feb;9(1):48-52. doi: 10.1007/s12519-013-0397-1. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Common WU polyomavirus infection in a Beijing population indicated by surveillance for serum IgG antibody against capsid protein VP2.

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Laboratory of Virology, Capital Institute of Pediatrics, 2 Yabao Road, Beijing 100020, China.



WU polyomavirus (WU virus) was identified as a novel polyomavirus in 2007 from specimens of pediatric patients with acute respiratory infection (ARI). A lack of permissive cell lines has limited investigations into WU virus pathogenesis and prevalence.


The encoding region of the capsid protein VP2 gene was amplified from a WU virus DNA-positive clinical specimen and expressed as a recombinant Histagged protein in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). The expressed VP2 was identified by expected molecular weight and immunoreactivity with anti-His monoclonal antibody in Western blotting assay. Serum samples collected from 455 individuals of all ages in Beijing without symptoms of ARI were tested for IgG antibodies against the affinity-purified recombinant VP2 protein by Western blotting to investigate the prevalence of natural WU virus infection. In addition, serum samples from four ARI pediatric patients, whose nasopharyngeal aspirates were positive for WU virus DNA and negative for all other respiratory-related viruses, were tested for IgM antibody against the recombinant VP2.


Of the 455 serum samples, 238 reacted with the recombinant VP2, yielding an overall positive rate of 52.3% for IgG against VP2 of WU virus. The positive rate was the highest in serum samples from infants and children between 1 to 4 years of age. One of four ARI pediatric patients was positive for IgM against WU virus VP2, implicating WU virus as the causative disease agent.


The high prevalence of IgG against WU polyomavirus in Beijing-based study population indicates that WU virus infection is common in Beijing. WU virus may be responsible for some pediatric ARI cases, and primary infection of this virus may occur mostly in childhood.

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