A diverse virome in kidney transplant patients contains multiple viral subtypes with distinct polymorphisms

Asha Rani, Ravi Ranjan, Halvor S. McGee, Ahmed Metwally, Zahraa Hajjiri, Daniel C. Brennan, Patricia W. Finn, David L. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Recent studies have established that the human urine contains a complex microbiome, including a virome about which little is known. Following immunosuppression in kidney transplant patients, BK polyomavirus (BKV) has been shown to induce nephropathy (BKVN), decreasing graft survival. In this study we investigated the urine virome profile of BKV+ and BKVâ ' kidney transplant recipients. Virus-like particles were stained to confirm the presence of VLP in the urine samples. Metagenomic DNA was purified, and the virome profile was analyzed using metagenomic shotgun sequencing. While the BK virus was predominant in the BKV+ group, it was also found in the BKVâ ' group patients. Additional viruses were also detected in all patients, notably including JC virus (JCV) and Torque teno virus (TTV) and interestingly, we detected multiple subtypes of the BKV, JCV and TTV. Analysis of the BKV subtypes showed that nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in the VP1, VP2 and Large T Antigen proteins, suggesting potential functional effects for enhanced pathogenicity. Our results demonstrate a complex urinary virome in kidney transplant patients with multiple viruses with several distinct subtypes warranting further analysis of virus subtypes in immunosuppressed hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33327
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Sep 16 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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