Correlation of BK virus neutralizing serostatus with the incidence of BK Viremia in kidney transplant recipients

Johanna R. Abend, Marguerite Changala, Atul Sathe, Fergal Casey, Amy Kistler, Sindhu Chandran, Abigail Howard, David Wojciechowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background. BK virus (BKV)-associated nephropathy is the second leading cause of graft loss in kidney transplant recipients. Due to the high prevalence of persistent infection with BKV in the general population, it is possible that either the transplant recipient or donormay act as the source of virus resulting in viruria and viremia. Although several studies suggest a correlation between donor-recipient serostatus and the development of BK viremia, specific risk factors for BKV-related complications in the transplant setting remain to be established. Methods.We retrospectively determined the pretransplant BKV neutralizing serostatus of 116 donors (D)-recipient (R) pairs using infectious BKV neutralization assays with representatives from the 4 major viral serotypes. The neutralizing serostatus of donors and recipients was then correlated with the incidence of BK viremia during the first year posttransplantation. Results. There were no significant differences in baseline demographics or transplant data among the 4 neutralizing serostatus groups, with the exception of calculated panel-reactive antibody which was lowest in the D+/R- group. Recipients of kidneys from donors with significant serum neutralizing activity (D+) had elevated risk for BK viremia, regardless of recipient serostatus (D+ versus D-: odd ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.9-12.7]; P = 0.0008). Furthermore, donor-recipient pairs with D+/R- neutralizing serostatus had the greatest risk for BK viremia (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-14.6; P = 0.004). Conclusions. Donor neutralizing serostatus correlates significantly with incidence of posttransplant BK viremia. Determination of donor-recipient neutralizing serostatus may be useful in assessing the risk of BKV infection in kidney transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1505
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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