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To investigate if BK virus (BKV)-specific T cell immunity measured by an interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay can predict the outcome of BK virus infection in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). We included 68 KTRs with different viremia status (no viremia [n = 17], BK viremia [n = 27], and cleared viremia [n = 24]) and 44 healthy controls (HCs). The BK viremia group was divided into controller (< 3 months) and noncontroller (> 3 months) according to sustained duration of BKV infection. We compared BKV-ELISPOT results against five BKV peptides (large tumor antigen [LT], St, VP1-3). BKV-ELISPOT results were higher in three KTRs groups with different BKV infection status than the HCs group (p < 0.05). In KTR groups, they were higher in cleared viremia group than no viremia or BK viremia group. Within the BK viremia group, controller group had higher LT-ELISPOT results compared to noncontroller group (p = 0.032). Also, KTRs without BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVN) had higher LT, St, VP1, and VP2-ELISPOT results than those with BKVN (p < 0.05). BKV-ELISPOT assay may be effective in predicting clinical outcomes of BKV infection in terms of clearance of BK virus and development of BKVN.


Hyunjoo Bae, Do Hyun Na, Ji-Yeun Chang, Ki Hyun Park, Ji Won Min, Eun Jeong Ko, Hyeyoung Lee, Chul Woo Yang, Byung Ha Chung, Eun-Jee Oh. Usefulness of BK virus-specific interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay for predicting the outcome of BK virus infection in kidney transplant recipients. The Korean journal of internal medicine. 2021 Jan;36(1):164-174

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PMID: 32241081

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