Pretransplant IgG antibodies to polyoma BK virus in pediatric renal transplants

Vanesa Bijol, Adela Cimic, Raphael P. Viscidi, Leonard C. Hymes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We retrospectively measured IgG antibody levels to BKV in pretransplant sera and compared levels in children who developed BK viremia to a control group who remained free of infection after transplantation. Sera from 45 renal transplant patients were available for analysis (BK viremia = 23, controls = 22). Serum BKV PCR levels ranged from 3400 to 6.5 million DNA copies/mL (mean ± s.d.: 978K ± 1.77 million) and were highest in patients with BK nephritis (p = 0.007). Overall, 35% of children with BK viremia were BKV-seronegative vs. 9% of children in control group (p = 0.04), but mean antibody levels were similar between viremic and control patients (p = 0.15). However, children who developed viremia later than six months post-transplantation had significantly lower antibody levels compared with controls (p = 0.004) and patients with early viremia (p = 0.007), and may represent de novo infection or reinfection, rather than recurrence of latent infection. Pretransplant antibody status was significantly associated with subsequent development of BK viremia. Although our findings identified possible factors for developing BK viremia, there was sufficient overlap of both seropositive status and antibody levels among viremic patients and the control group to question the clinical utility of pretransplant IgG antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-227
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • BK viremia
  • BK virus
  • BKV-specific antibody
  • Kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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