BK virus as a mediator of graft dysfunction following kidney transplantation

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Purpose of review

BK virus is a significant risk factor for kidney allograft dysfunction and loss among renal transplant recipients. Currently, there is no proven effective treatment except for the reduction of immunosuppression. In this review, we discuss diagnostic challenges and current treatment options for BK in kidney transplant recipients.

Recent findings

Antiviral and antibiotic therapies have been employed for BK viraemia with variable efficacy. In addition, novel therapeutic regimens such as adoptive transfer of targeted T cells have been described as possible treatment options for recipients with BK nephropathy. BK can also be seen in the native kidneys of pancreas, heart, lung and liver transplant recipients, suggesting that BK screening measures should be employed to other solid organ transplant recipients.


Early screening for BK combined with reduction of immunosuppression remains the mainstay of treatment for BK viraemia. New therapeutic advances demonstrate promise in vitro; however, the in-vivo efficacy will be demonstrated by future studies.

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