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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2015 Feb;30(2):209-17. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfu023. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

BK virus infection: an update on diagnosis and treatment.

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Renal, Electrolyte, and Hypertension Division, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


BK virus, first isolated in 1971, is a significant risk factor for renal transplant dysfunction and allograft loss. Unfortunately, treatment options for BK virus infection are limited, and there is no effective prophylaxis. Although overimmunosuppression remains the primary risk factor for BK infection after transplantation, male gender, older recipient age, prior rejection episodes, degree of human leukocyte antigen mismatching, prolonged cold ischemia time, BK serostatus and ureteral stent placement have all been implicated as risk factors. Routine screening for BK has been shown to be effective in preventing allograft loss in patients with BK viruria or viremia. Reduction of immunosuppression remains the mainstay of BK nephropathy treatment and is the best studied intervention. Laboratory-based methods such as ELISPOT assays have provided new insights into the immune response to BK and may help guide therapy in the future. In this review, we will discuss the epidemiology of BK virus infection, screening strategies, treatment options and future research directions.


BK virus; diagnosis; kidney; transplantation; treatment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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