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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 926391, 7 pages
Review Article

A Review on JC Virus Infection in Kidney Transplant Recipients

1Laboratory of Translational Research, Health Science Foundation “Ettore Sansavini”, Corso Garibaldi 11, 48022 Lugo, Italy
2Department of General and Vascular Surgery, St. Joseph Hospital, Via San Vittore 12, 20122 Milan, Italy
3Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milan, Italy
4Pediatric Nephrology and Dialysis Unit, IRCCS Ca’ Granda Foundation “Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico”, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milan, Italy
5Laboratory of Translational Research, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Via Pascal 36, 20133 Milan, Italy
6Clinical Institute “Città Studi”, Via Ampere 47, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 2 August 2012; Revised 3 January 2013; Accepted 3 January 2013

Academic Editor: Hans Hellmut Hirsch

Copyright © 2013 Serena Delbue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The polyomavirus (PyV), JC virus (JCV), is a small nonenveloped DNA virus that asymptomatically infects about 80% of healthy adults and establishes latency in the kidney tissue. In case of immunodeficient hosts, JCV can lytically infect the oligodendrocytes, causing a fatal demyelinating disease, known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Although the reactivation of another human PyV, BK virus (BKV), is relatively common and its association with the polyomavirus associated nephropathy (PyVAN) following renal transplantation is proven, JCV replication and its impact on graft function and survival are less well studied. Here we describe the biology of JCV and its pathological features and we review the literature regarding the JCV infection analyzed in the setting of transplantations.