Identification of a novel human polyomavirus in organs of the gastrointestinal tract

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058021. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Polyomaviruses are small, non-enveloped viruses with a circular double-stranded DNA genome. Using a generic polyomavirus PCR targeting the VP1 major structural protein gene, a novel polyomavirus was initially identified in resected human liver tissue and provisionally named Human Polyomavirus 12 (HPyV12). Its 5033 bp genome is predicted to encode large and small T antigens and the 3 structural proteins VP1, VP2 and VP3. Phylogenetic analyses did not reveal a close relationship to any known human or animal polyomavirus. Investigation of organs, body fluids and excretions of diseased individuals and healthy subjects with both HPyV12-specific nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR revealed additional virus-positive samples of resected liver, cecum and rectum tissues and a positive fecal sample. A capsomer-based IgG ELISA was established using the major capsid protein VP1 of HPyV12. Seroprevalences of 23% and 17%, respectively, were determined in sera from healthy adults and adolescents and a pediatric group of children. These data indicate that the virus naturally infects humans and that primary infection may already occur in childhood.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / virology*
  • Gene Order
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Liver / virology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • Polyomavirus / classification*
  • Polyomavirus / genetics*
  • Polyomavirus / immunology
  • Polyomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Polyomavirus Infections / virology
  • Prevalence
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • Viral Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JX308829

Grants and funding

These authors have no support or funding to report.