Author(s): Pahari A, Rees L
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Abstract BK virus (BKV), a human polyomavirus, infects most of the human population, but clinically relevant infections are usually limited to individuals who are immunosuppressed. After primary infection, BKV remains latent in the kidneys and can be reactivated in immune deficiency conditions, including transplantation. As primary infection occurs in childhood, BKV may be particularly important in the pediatric transplant population. BKV is associated with tubulointerstitial nephritis and ureteric stenosis in renal transplant recipients and hemorrhagic cystitis in bone marrow transplant recipients. There are increasing reports of BKV causing nephropathy and cystitis in non-renal solid organ transplant recipients and other immunodeficiency diseases. This might be related to the use of more potent immunosuppressive regimens or increasing awareness of BKV as an important pathogen. Diagnosis of BKV disease is by biopsy. Histopathological changes in renal biopsy specimens may mimic rejection or drug toxicity, but BKV nuclear inclusions can be seen. Treatment is by reduction of immunosuppression. Antiviral agents such as cidofovir are showing promise. BKV DNA polymerase chain reaction in blood or biopsy may be helpful in monitoring therapy. The impact of BKV disease in children is not well understood and prospective studies are needed to elucidate this further. This article reviews the current understanding of BKV-associated renal problems.
This article was published in Pediatr Nephrol
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics