Seroepidemiology of Human Polyomaviruses in a US Population

Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Jan 1;183(1):61-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv155. Epub 2015 Dec 13.


Polyomaviruses (PyV) are potentially tumorigenic in humans. However, limited data exist on the population seroprevalence of PyVs and individual characteristics that relate to seropositivity. Using multiplex serology, we determined the seroprevalence of 10 human PyVs (BK, JC, KI, WU, MCV, HPyV6, HPyV7, TSV, HPyV9, and HPyV10) among controls from a population-based skin cancer case-control study (n = 460) conducted in New Hampshire between 1993 and 1995. On a subset of participants (n = 194), methylation at CpG dinucleotides across the genome was measured in peripheral blood using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip array (Illumina Inc., San Diego, California), from which lymphocyte subtype proportions were inferred. All participants were seropositive for at least 1 PyV, with seroprevalences ranging from 17.6% (HPyV9) to 99.1% (HPyV10). Seropositivity to JC, MCV, and HPyV7 increased with age. JC and TSV seropositivity were more common among men than among women. Smokers were more likely to be HPyV9-seropositive but MCV-seronegative, and HPyV7 seropositivity was associated with prolonged glucocorticoid use. Based on DNA methylation profiles, differences were observed in CD8-positive T- and B-cell proportions by BK, JC, and HPyV9 seropositivity. Our findings suggest that PyV seropositivity is common in the United States and varies by sociodemographic and biological characteristics, including those related to immune function.

Keywords: antibodies; immunity; polyomavirus; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Polyomavirus / immunology*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / virology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors