BK virus and rheumatic disease Please rate this page (bottom of page)

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BK virus infection (looks like JC Virus)


BK virus belongs to polyoma virus. Whole 80% healthy persons have latent infection (existing viruses without symptoms). The infection does not cause rheumatic symptoms, but by a weakened immune system such as during immunosuppressive, anti-rheumatic treatment, by organ transplantation or by HIV infection, BK virus infection can be severe. The stronger the immune suppression, the more serious the infection.

Contagion mechanism

Not completely clear, but may be via saliva and other body fluids


  • 1% - 10% after transplantation
  • Remitting fever
  • Pulmonary symptoms
  • Kidneys (increasing kidney failure and pathological urine)


Proven by PCR examination from blood, urine or tissue sample from kidneys


  • Reducing immune suppression: Tacrolimus can be replaced with cyclosporin
  • Supplements with leflunomide (Arava)
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • IV immunoglobulin


Opportunistic infections, BINDEVEVSSYKDOMMER.no

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