Compared with children in the general population, more children with systemic lupus erythematosus had BK viremia and viruria, according to results of this prospective cohort study.
Nirupama Gupta, MD, at the University of Florida College of Medicine, and colleagues observed 26 female and six male patients, with a median age of 16 years at study enrollment. Overall, investigators found 10.4% of blood samples were positive for BK virus and 37.5% of participants had BK-positivity during the study. The highest prevalence of BK viremia was after 6 months, and 25% of patients had BK-positivity at different time points. In addition, those with mixed connective tissue disease or overlap syndrome had a higher rate of BK virus. Also, there was no higher risk for BK virus infection regarding medication type, except for hydroxychloroquine.
“We also noticed that BK viruria did not always precede BK viremia,” the researchers wrote. “This is contrary to Nickeleit et al. who reported that viruria often precedes viremia by several weeks. This finding highlights the importance of checking both the urine and blood for BK virus infection and raises the question of BK virus tissue tropism.” – by Will A. Offit
The researchers report they received funding from the Children’s Miracle Network at the University of Florida.