Arch Dis Child 88:174-175 doi:10.1136/adc.88.2.174
  • Laboratory research

BK virus DNA in CSF of immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients

  1. A Behzad-Behbahani1,
  2. P E Klapper2,
  3. P J Vallely3,
  4. G M Cleator3
  1. 1Professor Alborzi Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Clinical Virology Section, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  2. 2Virology, Public Health Laboratory, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Division of Virology, Laboratory Medicine Academic Group, University of Manchester, 3rd Floor, Clinical Sciences Building, Manchester Royal Infirmary, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A Behzad-Behbahani, Professor Alborzi Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Virology Section, Namazee Hospital, Shiraz, Iran;
  • Accepted 24 July 2002


Aim: To investigate the possible aetiological role of BK and JC viruses in immunocompetent and immunocompromised children with suspected encephalitis and meningoencephalitis.

Methods: The polymerase chain reaction and microplate hybridisation method was employed for the detection of polyomavirus DNA in 266 CSF specimens collected from immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients.

Results: BK virus DNA was detected in three (2.1%) CSF samples taken from patients aged 2–5 years; two were patients with acute lymphocytic leukaemia without overt neurological symptoms, the other was a patient with suspected encephalitis. BK virus DNA was also detected in two (1.6%) CSF samples taken from older children in the age range 10–16 years; both children had suspected encephalitis. JC virus DNA was not found in any CSF sample from either age group.

Conclusions: Detection of BK virus in the CSF of immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients with suspected neurological disease suggests that this virus may have had a pathogenic role in the aetiology of this condition.