Journal Article

JC Virus Load in Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: Analysis of the Correlation between the Viral Burden in Cerebrospinal Fluid, Patient Survival, and the Volume of Neurological Lesions

Darío García de Viedma, Marisol Díaz Infantes, Pilar Miralles, Juan Berenguer, Mercedes Marín, Lucía Muñoz and Emilio Bouza

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 12, pages 1568-1575
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340535
JC Virus Load in Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy: Analysis of the Correlation between the Viral Burden in Cerebrospinal Fluid, Patient Survival, and the Volume of Neurological Lesions

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JC virus (JCV) is the causative agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a demyelinating central nervous system infection that mainly affects patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The diagnostic value of the detection of JCV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been proved. A correlation between the JCV burden in CSF and the PML prognosis has been proposed. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to examine JCV burden in CSF in relation to the magnitude of neurological damage. An in-house quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was used for measurement of the JCV burden in CSF samples from 12 patients with PML. A wide variation in JCV load (6.4 log) was found among the patient CSF samples, a finding that makes JCV load measurements worthwhile. Virus load values of µ4.68 log were associated with shorter patient survival time. No correlation was found between the virus load values and the global volume of brain tissue damaged. Our data suggest that factors other than the volume of neurological lesions influence the shedding of JCV in the CSF.

Journal Article.  4326 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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