BK polyomavirus in solid organ transplantation-Guidelines from the American Society of Transplantation Infectious Diseases Community of Practice

Clin Transplant. 2019 Sep;33(9):e13528. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13528. Epub 2019 Apr 10.


The present AST-IDCOP guidelines update information on BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) infection, replication, and disease, which impact kidney transplantation (KT), but rarely non-kidney solid organ transplantation (SOT). As pretransplant risk factors in KT donors and recipients presently do not translate into clinically validated measures regarding organ allocation, antiviral prophylaxis, or screening, all KT recipients should be screened for BKPyV-DNAemia monthly until month 9, and then every 3 months until 2 years posttransplant. Extended screening after 2 years may be considered in pediatric KT. Stepwise immunosuppression reduction is recommended for KT patients with plasma BKPyV-DNAemia of >1000 copies/mL sustained for 3 weeks or increasing to >10 000 copies/mL reflecting probable and presumptive BKPyV-associated nephropathy, respectively. Reducing immunosuppression is also the primary intervention for biopsy-proven BKPyV-associated nephropathy. Hence, allograft biopsy is not required for treating BKPyV-DNAemic patients with baseline renal function. Despite virological rationales, proper randomized clinical trials are lacking to generally recommend treatment by switching from tacrolimus to cyclosporine-A, from mycophenolate to mTOR inhibitors or leflunomide or by the adjunct use of intravenous immunoglobulins, leflunomide, or cidofovir. Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for prophylaxis or therapy. Retransplantation after allograft loss due to BKPyV nephropathy can be successful if BKPyV-DNAemia is definitively cleared, independent of failed allograft nephrectomy.

Keywords: BK virus; kidney; nephropathy; polyoma; transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • BK Virus / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / etiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Transplant Recipients
  • Tumor Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / etiology


  • Antiviral Agents