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The recently described WU (WUV) and KI (KIV) polyomaviruses have been primarily detected in respiratory samples, however other body sites have not been extensively investigated to date. The related human polyomaviruses JCV and BKV in contrast, have been detected in a wide range of sample types, leading to increased knowledge about their biology and pathogenesis. The aim of the study was to investigate and compare the presence of JCV, BKV, WUV, and KIV in a variety of patient samples. Nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs), bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, faeces and urine from paediatric and adult immunocompetent and compromised patients were screened for the presence of the polyomaviruses by real-time PCR. The non-translated region (NTR) and VP1 of select WUV and KIV positive samples were sequenced and analysed. WUV and KIV were predominantly detected in NPA, BAL, and faeces from paediatric patients. JCV and BKV were primarily detected in blood, urine and faeces from adult patients. WUV and KIV NTR/VP1 sequence similarity ranged from 99.5% to 100% and 97.5-100%, respectively. Overall, WUV and KIV were detected in paediatric respiratory tract samples, in contrast to JCV and BKV, in which respiratory detections were uncommon. Additionally, the lack of WUV and KIV detections in blood, CSF, urine and adult faeces reinforces the parallel in divergent genomic phylogeny and apparent tissue tropism between JCV and BKV, and WUV and KIV. NTR/VP1 sequence variation did not appear to be associated with site of WUV or KIV detection.


Seweryn Bialasiewicz, David M Whiley, Stephen B Lambert, Michael D Nissen, Theo P Sloots. Detection of BK, JC, WU, or KI polyomaviruses in faecal, urine, blood, cerebrospinal fluid and respiratory samples. Journal of clinical virology : the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. 2009 Jul;45(3):249-54

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PMID: 19515607

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