BK virus infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients: frequency, risk factors, and association with postengraftment hemorrhagic cystitis.

Program in Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.
Clinical Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 9.37). 01/2005; 39(12):1861-5. DOI: 10.1086/426140
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Blood samples from 132 consecutive hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients were obtained and tested weekly for BK virus DNA by use of quantitative real-time PCR. Forty-four patients (33%) developed BK viremia at a median of 41 days (range, 9-91 days) after transplantation. Patients with hemorrhagic cystitis that occurred after platelet engraftment had higher levels of viremia than did patients without hemorrhagic cystitis (median, 9.7x10(3) vs. 0 copies/mL; P=.008) and patients with hemorrhagic cystitis that occurred before platelet engraftment (median, 9.7x10(3) vs. 0 copies/mL; P=.0006). BK viremia also was strongly associated with postengraftment hemorrhagic cystitis in a time-dependent analysis (P=.004).

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    ABSTRACT: BK virus (BKV), a ubiquitous human polyomavirus, usually does not cause disease in healthy individuals. BKV reactivation and disease can occur in immunosuppressed individuals, such as those who have undergone renal transplantation or hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Clinical manifestations of BKV disease include graft dysfunction and failure in renal transplant recipients; HCT recipients frequently experience hematuria, cystitis, hemorrhagic cystitis (HC), and renal dysfunction. Studies of HCT patients have identified several risk factors for the development of BKV disease including myeloablative conditioning, acute graft-versus-host disease, and undergoing an umbilical cord blood (uCB) HCT. Although these risk factors indicate that alterations in the immune system are necessary for BKV pathogenesis in HCT patients, few studies have examined the interactions between host immune responses and viral reactivation in BKV disease. Specifically, having BKV immunoglobulin-G before HCT does not protect against BKV infection and disease after HCT. A limited number of studies have demonstrated BKV-specific cytotoxic T cells in healthy adults as well as in post-HCT patients who had experienced HC. New areas of research are required for a better understanding of this emerging infectious disease post HCT, including prospective studies examining BK viruria, viremia, and their relationship with clinical disease, a detailed analysis of urothelial histopathology, and laboratory evaluation of systemic and local cellular and humoral immune responses to BKV in patients receiving HCT from different sources, including uCB and haploidentical donors.
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