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Quantitation of BK Virus Load in Serum for the Diagnosis of BK Virus-Associated Nephropathy in Renal Transplant Recipients

Ajit P. Limaye, Keith R. Jerome, Christian S. Kuhr, James Ferrenberg, Meei-Li Huang, Connie L. Davis, Lawrence Corey and Christopher L. Marsh
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 183, No. 11 (Jun. 1, 2001), pp. 1669-1672
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30110187
Page Count: 4
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Quantitation of BK Virus Load in Serum for the Diagnosis of BK Virus-Associated Nephropathy in Renal Transplant Recipients
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Abstract

BK virus-associated nephropathy is an increasingly recognized cause of graft dysfunction among kidney transplant recipients, and definitive diagnosis requires renal biopsy. By using a newly developed, quantitative, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for BK virus DNA, a retrospective analysis was done of sequential serum samples (/i = 28) from 4 transplant recipients with histopathologically documented BK virus nephropathy and from samples {n = 76) from 16 transplant recipient control patients. BK virus DNA was detected in serum samples from all 4 case patients versus 0 of 16 control patients < .0001, Fisher's exact test) at a median of 32 weeks (range, 17-61 weeks) before the diagnosis of BK virus nephropathy. BK virus load decreased in 3 of 3 patients after the reduction of immunosuppression and/or nephrectomy. It is concluded that quantitative PCR for BK virus DNA in serum is useful both for identifying transplant recipients at risk for BK virus nephropathy and for monitoring the response to therapy.

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