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Abstract

BK polyomavirus (BKV) is widespread among humans, asymptomatically infecting children and then persisting in renal tissue. The transcriptional control region (TCR) of the BKV genome is variable among clinical isolates. Thus, archetypal TCRs with a common basic configuration generally occur in BKV isolates from the urine of immunocompromised patients, but rearranged TCRs that possibly arise from the archetypal configuration have also been detected in clinical specimens. To examine the hypothesis that archetypal strains represent wild-type strains circulating in the human population (the archetype hypothesis), we analysed 145 complete viral genomes amplified directly from the urine of non-immunocompromised individuals worldwide. These genomes included 82, three, two and 58 sequences classified as belonging to subtypes I, II, III and IV, respectively. Rearranged TCRs with long duplications or deletions were detected from two subtype I and two subtype IV genomes, but not from the other 141 genomes (thus, the TCRs of these genomes were judged to be archetypal). The variations in the archetypal TCRs were nucleotide substitutions and single-nucleotide deletions, most of which were unique to particular subtypes or subgroups. We confirmed that the four complete BKV genomes with rearranged TCRs did not form a unique lineage on a phylogenetic tree. Collectively, the findings demonstrate that the archetypal TCR configuration has been conserved during the evolution of BKV, providing support for the archetype hypothesis. Additionally, we suggest that ‘archetype’ should be used as a conceptual term that denotes a prototypical structure that can generate various rearranged TCRs during viral growth and .

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2008-08-01
2020-01-18
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vol. , part 8, pp. 1849 - 1856

Primers used to amplify and sequence whole BKV genomes

Complete BKV genomes analysed in this study [Single PDF file](97 KB)



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