Journal Article

BK Virus: A Clinical Review

Mark D. Reploeg, Gregory A. Storch and David B. Clifford

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 2, pages 191-202
Published in print July 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
BK Virus: A Clinical Review

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We present a review of the clinically oriented literature about BK virus, a relative of JC virus, which is the etiologic agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The kidney, lung, eye, liver, and brain have been proposed as sites of BK virus-associated disease, both primary and reactivated. BK virus has also been detected in tissue specimens from a variety of neoplasms. We believe that BK virus is most often permissively present in sites of disease in immunosuppressed patients, rather than being an etiologic agent that causes symptoms or pathologic findings. There is, however, strong evidence for BK virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis and nephritis, especially in recipients of solid organ or bone marrow transplants. Now that BK virus can be identified by use of specific and sensitive techniques, careful evaluation of the clinical and pathologic presentations of patients with BK virus will allow us to form a clearer picture of viral-associated pathophysiology in many organ systems.

Journal Article.  9944 words.  Illustrated.

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

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