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Am J Pathol. 1993 Jul;143(1):29-39.

Disseminated BK type polyomavirus infection in an AIDS patient associated with central nervous system disease.

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  • 1Department of Medical Virology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


A 27-year-old man with hemophilia type A and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome developed a subacute meningoencephalitis, associated with a normotensive internal hydrocephalus, 14 weeks before his death. From cerebrospinal fluid and brain autopsy material, a virus could be isolated and was classified by Southern blot analysis and restriction endonuclease reactions as the human polyomavirus BK. The postmortem findings of polyomavirus antigen and BK virus DNA in various cell types of the kidneys, lungs, and central nervous system strongly suggest that BK virus was the causative agent of a tubulointerstitial nephropathy, an interstitial desquamative pneumonitis, and a subacute meningoencephalitis with accentuation of the ventricular and meningeal surfaces of the brain. Besides distinctive cytopathic effects, the presence of intranuclear inclusions was a prominent histopathological feature. Therefore, the human polyomavirus BK should be regarded as a new candidate on the still growing list of opportunistic pathogens in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

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