Relation of JC virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid to survival in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients with biopsy-proven progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Ann Neurol. 1999 Jun;45(6):816-21. doi: 10.1002/1531-8249(199906)45:6<816::aid-ana21>;2-w.


The detection and semiquantitation of JC virus (JCV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is prognostic of survival and is a marker of the course of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). CSF samples from 15 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients with biopsy-proven PML were analyzed by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A low JCV burden was predictive of longer survival compared with a high JCV burden (median survival from entry, 24 [2-63] vs 7.6 [4-17] weeks). Further analyses indicated a possible threshold of 50 to 100 copies/microl separating high- and moderate-risk cases. Patients with a JCV load below this level survived longer than those with a JCV load above it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Humans
  • JC Virus / genetics
  • JC Virus / isolation & purification*
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors


  • DNA, Viral