BK Virus

Shmuel Shoham, M.D., Paul G. Auwaerter, M.D.
BK Virus is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • DNA polyomavirus, first isolated in 1971 in a renal transplant patient with initials B.K.
  • Member of DNA tumor virus family, well-known to cause tumors in rodents; however, oncologic potential in humans less certain.
  • Similar to JC virus, ~75% information shared genomically.
  • Two forms based on genotype:
    • Archetype virus: transmissible form, asymptomatic reactivation, disease.
    • Rearranged variants: may be more common in disease.

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Last updated: June 1, 2016