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Am J Transplant. 2014 May;14(5):1183-90. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12694. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

BK virus encoded microRNAs are present in blood of renal transplant recipients with BK viral nephropathy.

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Department of Renal Medicine, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, Australia; School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.


BK viral infection is an important cause of renal transplant dysfunction and failure. Current strategies utilize surveillance for infection with DNA polymerase chain reaction assays and modulation of immunosuppression. Many viruses including polyomaviruses encode microRNAs (miRNAs). We have detected BK virus (BKV) encoded miRNAs in the blood of infected renal transplant recipients, and see a strong correlation between BKV encoded miRNA and BKV DNA in blood and a relationship between levels of bkv-miR-B1-5p and the presence of biopsy-proven BK viral nephropathy. Further research is needed to determine whether the detection of this and other virally encoded miRNAs may be useful in the diagnosis of active viral replication.


BK nephropathy; BK virus; microRNA; renal transplant

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