NDT-EDUCATIONAL

Transplant recipients infected with BK virus at increased risk of rejection

Kidney transplant recipients infected with BK virus are more likely to develop antibodies against their kidney transplants than uninfected patients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Future treatment strategies should focus on simultaneously clearing BK infections while protecting against risks of transplant rejection.

Many people are infected with BK virus, and it rarely causes disease. However, for transplant recipients and others who take immunosuppressive drugs, it can be problematic. The most common approach to BK infection in transplant patients is to reduce their anti-rejection medications so that their immune systems can fight off the infection. This of course could compromise the health of their transplanted organ.

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