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Clin Dev Immunol. 2013;2013:373579. doi: 10.1155/2013/373579. Epub 2013 May 2.

Human polyomavirus reactivation: disease pathogenesis and treatment approaches.

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Department of Virology, Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, Surrey GU16 7UJ, UK.


JC and BK polyomaviruses were discovered over 40 years ago and have become increasingly prevalent causes of morbidity and mortality in a variety of distinct, immunocompromised patient cohorts. The recent discoveries of eight new members of the Polyomaviridae family that are capable of infecting humans suggest that there are more to be discovered and raise the possibility that they may play a more significant role in human disease than previously understood. In spite of this, there remains a dearth of specific therapeutic options for human polyomavirus infections and an incomplete understanding of the relationship between the virus and the host immune system. This review summarises the human polyomaviruses with particular emphasis on pathogenesis in those directly implicated in disease aetiology and the therapeutic options available for treatment in the immunocompromised host.

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