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KI Polyomavirus Detected in Respiratory Tract Specimens From Patients in St. Louis, Missouri

Hormozdi, David J. MD*; Arens, Max Q. PhD*; Le, Binh-Minh MD; Buller, Richard S. PhD*; Agapov, Eugene PhD; Storch, Gregory A. MD*†

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: April 2010 - Volume 29 - Issue 4 - p 329-333
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181c1795c
Original Studies

Background: Studies have reported the presence of KI polyomavirus (KIPyV) and WU polyomavirus (WUPyV) in respiratory secretions of young patients. So far, evidence has not supported a link between infections with either virus and respiratory tract disease; however, there has not been a large comparison of KIPyV-infected patients to age-matched patient groups.

Methods: A retrospective study comparing clinical aspects of KIPyV-positive patients with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-positive, WUPyV-positive, and respiratory-virus negative patients. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, 2599 respiratory samples from patients ranging from 1 day to 88 years of age were tested for KIPyV. Electronic medical records were reviewed for 65 cases, for a comparison group consisting of 195 patients negative for common respiratory viruses, and for 56 WUPyV-positive patients drawn from the same population. Twelve patients testing positive for KIPyV as the sole pathogen were matched to 36 RSV-positive patients and clinical features of both groups were compared.

Results: Seventy-two (2.8%) respiratory samples were positive for KIPyV. Another virus was detected in 71% of the KIPyV-positive samples. Analysis showed no statistically significant differences in clinical manifestations between KIPyV-positive patients and patients negative for common respiratory viruses, however, clinical characteristics of KIPyV-positive patients were less severe than those of patients positive for RSV. KIPyVpositive patients ≥3 years of age were usually immunocompromised in contrast to the younger children with KIPyV.

Conclusions: This study did not demonstrate a link between KIPyV infection and symptomatic respiratory disease. Patients positive for KIPyV exhibited less severe clinical symptoms than patients positive for RSV.


From the Departments of *Pediatrics, and †Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Accepted for publication September 16, 2009.

Supported by the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Grant 5U54 AI057160 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

No study sponsor had any role in the study design, writing the report, the decision to submit the paper for publication, or the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.

The first draft was written by David J. Hormozdi. No compensation was given to write the manuscript.

Address for correspondence: David J. Hormozdi, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Ave, Campus Box 8116, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail:

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© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.