No evidence for an association between infections with WU and KI polyomaviruses and respiratory disease.
Norja P., Ubillos I., Templeton K., Simmonds P.
BACKGROUND: WU virus (WUV) and KI polyomavirus (KIPyV) are newly discovered related human polyomaviruses detected in respiratory samples. To investigate their potential role in respiratory disease, we determined their frequencies of detection, clinical presentations and epidemiological characteristics among samples referred for diagnostic respiratory virus testing. METHODS: Anonymised samples and accompanying study subject information were obtained from the Edinburgh respiratory specimen archive. Samples were screened by nested PCR using two sets of primers conserved between WUV and KIPyV, as well for other respiratory viruses (respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], adenoviruses [AdV], influenza A/B and parainfluenza viruses 1-3, human bocavirus, B19). RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: WUV and KIPyV were detected in 10 and 14 samples, respectively from 983 specimens (from 9 to 10 different individuals from 612 study subjects). Infections occurred in two types of study subject; those who were young (<2 years) with lower respiratory tract infections (n=8), and almost invariably co-infected with other respiratory viruses (RSV, AdV), and a second, generally older group either without respiratory disease (n=6) or with mild upper respiratory tract infections (n=5) but who were generally clinically severely immunosuppressed from leukaemia or transplant therapy. Findings from either group do not support an aetiological link between infection with WUV or KIPyV and respiratory disease.