1887

Abstract

The ubiquitous human polyomaviruses BK (BKV) and JC (JCV) persist with no adverse effects in immunocompetent individuals. Virus-induced pathogenesis has been linked to virus reactivation during impaired immune conditions. Previous studies have shown a significant difference between the VP1 DNA sequences of JCV obtained from control urine samples and those in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy brain samples. This difference could not be detected when comparing normal control urinary JCV DNA with DNA sequences from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis patients. Since BKV and JCV are readily activated in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, the presence of specific strains, related to VP1 DNA sequences, was investigated in these patients. VP1 DNA sequences in 100 urine samples from 21 SLE patients and 75 urine samples from 75 healthy pregnant women were analysed and compared to previously reported sequences. The results show that the VP1 sequence profiles of JCV and BKV excreted by SLE patients do not differ significantly from those excreted by immunocompetent individuals. The European JCV subtypes 1A or 1B were represented among all JCV-positive urine specimens, while BKV VP1 sequences showed complete, or almost complete, identity with the MM or JL strains. Different urine samples from the same patient collected over a 1 year period were predominantly stable. BKV VP1 DNA in urine specimens from healthy pregnant women was only detected during the third trimester of their pregnancy. These results argue against SLE-specific JCV and BKV strains and suggest reactivation of the viruses rather than recurrent re-infections of patients with SLE.

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2000-11-01
2019-10-18
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