BK Virus Nephropathy in Kidney Transplantation: A State-of-the-Art Review

Viruses. 2022 Jul 25;14(8):1616. doi: 10.3390/v14081616.


BK virus maintains a latent infection that is ubiquitous in humans. It has a propensity for reactivation in the setting of a dysfunctional cellular immune response and is frequently encountered in kidney transplant recipients. Screening for the virus has been effective in preventing progression to nephropathy and graft loss. However, it can be a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. In this in-depth state-of-the-art review, we will discuss the history of the virus, virology, epidemiology, cellular response, pathogenesis, methods of screening and diagnosis, evidence-based treatment strategies, and upcoming therapeutics, along with the issue of re-transplantation in patients.

Keywords: BK virus; kidney injury; kidney transplantation; nephropathy; viremia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • BK Virus* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Polyomavirus Infections*
  • Tumor Virus Infections*
  • Viremia

Grants and funding

This work was funded by a generous gift from Melody and Raymond Ranelli. This work was supported by Janet Hartman and The Charles T. Bauer Foundation.