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Indian J Med Microbiol ; 2018 Jun; 36(2): 172-177
Article | IMSEAR | ID: sea-198776


Purpose: BK virus (BKV) is an opportunistic pathogen which causes significant morbidity and mortality in individuals who are immunodeficient. We aimed to quantitate and characterise BKV and to correlate with the degree of immunosuppression among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected individuals. Methods: BKV DNA detection was carried out using an in-house quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction on paired whole-blood and urine samples collected from 187 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve HIV-1-infected individuals and 93 healthy individuals who served as controls. Sequencing was performed for a proportion of high BK viral load (VL) samples to observe non-coding control region (NCCR) rearrangements. Results: BKV positivity in urine was 25.6% among HIV-infected individuals and 10.7% in control individuals (P = 0.03). The BK VL showed a significant negative correlation with CD4+ T-cell counts, a positive correlation with WHO clinical staging and no significant correlation with HIV-1 VL. Of 42 BKVs from urine samples sequenced, two showed rearrangements without clinically severe disease or high VL. Their NCCR and VP1 sequence-based genotyping revealed genotype I. In a small subset of individuals (n = 8) on ART who were being followed up, six individuals showed either decrease or complete clearance of virus with ART. Conclusion: There was a higher frequency of BK viruria in HIV-1-infected individuals than among healthy controls and the positivity correlated with the degree of immunosuppression. There was no association of high VL with NCCR rearrangements in urine.