Survey of urine from transplant recipients for polyomaviruses JC and BK using the polymerase chain reaction

Mol Cell Probes. 1991 Apr;5(2):125-8. doi: 10.1016/0890-8508(91)90006-6.


Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we examined 108 urine specimens from 39 post transplant patients for polyomaviruses JC (JCV) and BK (BKV). Urine sediments were collected and subjected to 30 cycles of amplification. PCR products were resolved by agarose gel electrophoresis, transferred to nylon membranes by Southern blot, and hybridized with radiolabelled probes. Polyomavirus DNA was found in urine specimens from 17 out of 39 patients (44%). Both viruses were detected in specimens from nine patients, JCV alone in five, and BKV alone in three. In comparison, polyomavirus was detected in only five of 22 PCR positive specimens by shell vial cell culture assay. Our results show a high prevalence of polyomavirus shedding after transplantation and suggest a higher rate of JC viruria than previously reported.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Viral / urine*
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Polyomavirus / genetics*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology


  • DNA, Viral