Temporal virus serological profiling of kidney graft recipients using VirScan

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 May 28;116(22):10899-10904. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1821166116. Epub 2019 May 13.


At this time, pretransplant viral screening of donors and recipients is based on serological status and limited to certain viruses. After transplantation, patient follow-up is based on a monitoring strategy using ELISA or PCR. Such approaches exclude other emerging viruses that can affect the transplant outcome. Recently, a multiplex unbiased array, VirScan, was developed. This tool allows the detection of antibodies against viruses, using a synthetic human virome, with minimal serum and cost. We decided to test the value of VirScan in the follow-up of a cohort of transplant recipients. We enrolled 45 kidney transplant recipients and performed virus serological profiling at day 0 and day +365, using VirScan. We compared the results obtained with ELISA/PCR assays. We detected antibody responses to 39 of the 206 species of virus present in the VirScan library, with an average of 12 species of virus per sample. VirScan gave similar results to PCR/ELISA screening tests. Using VirScan, we found that anti-viral antibody responses were largely conserved in patients during the first year after transplantation, regardless of immunosuppressive treatment. Our study suggests VirScan offers an unprecedented opportunity to screen and monitor posttransplant virus infection in a cost-effective, easy, and unbiased manner.

Keywords: immunosuppression; screening; transplant; virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Serologic Tests* / methods
  • Serologic Tests* / standards
  • Transplant Recipients*
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Viruses / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral