BK Virus (Quantitative) Lab Test

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Clinical Definition of BK Virus (Quantitative)

BK virus is rarely known to cause a disease, but is typically associated with patients who have had a kidney transplant. However, many people who are infected with the BK virus do not show any symptoms. And in case the symptoms do appear, they are mild, such as a respiratory infection or fever. Such infections are known as primary BK infections.

Approximately 80% of the population has a latent form of the BK virus in their body, but the virus expresses itself only in cases of immunosuppression. The BK virus is an important cause of interstitial nephritis and associated nephropathy (BKVAN) in patients who have had a kidney transplant. Reactivation or primary infection of BK virus among immune-compromised patients is associated with diseases of the kidney or urinary bladder. The severity of BK virus-associated diseases is known to be correlated to the BK viral load.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

The test is ordered for the detection and quantification of the BK virus in the blood or urine. Determination of BK viral load helps diagnose and treat BK virus related morbidity.

Reason to take BK Virus (Quantitative) Test

The BK virus test may be ordered:

  • When a person has symptoms of BKV-associated nephropathy
  • To monitor nephropathy in transplant patients
  • To determine BK virus reactivation disease in bone marrow and renal transplant patients

Preparations Needed for BK Virus (Quantitative) Test

There is no compulsory preparatory requirement for the BK virus test. However, it is advisable to tell your doctor if you are on any medications before undergoing the test, to ensure that the results are accurate.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample) or Urine Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture blood collection from a vein, usually from the arm. A urine sample is the specimen of choice for initial BK virus testing. When both blood and urine specimens are given for testing, urine is tested first. If the urine tests positive, the blood sample will be tested. And if the urine tests negative for the virus, the blood test is canceled.

References

  1. https://www.marshfieldlabs.org/sites/ltrm/Human/Pages/23421.aspx
  2. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02313844
  3. https://jcm.asm.org/content/42/3/1176