Absence of simian virus 40 in human brain tumors from Northern India

Eric A. Engels, Chitra Sarkar, Richard W. Daniel, Patti E. Gravitt, Kusum Verma, Martha Quezado, Keerti V. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Simian virus 40 (SV40), a monkey polyomavirus, was a contaminant of early poliovirus vaccines administered to millions of individuals in the 1950s and early 1960s. SV40 causes brain tumors in laboratory animals, and SV40 DNA sequences have been variably identified in human choroid plexus tumors and ependymomas. We studied the possible association between SV40 and human brain tumors in northern India, where humans have frequent contact with SV40-infected rhesus macaques. DNA from pathologic specimens from 33 ependymomas, 14 choroid plexus tumors and 18 control brain tissues (contused brain, brain metastases) was extracted and analyzed under masked conditions. We used real-time PCR to detect and quantify SV40 (T antigen) and human (GAPDH) DNA sequences. The SV40 PCR assay detected as few as 10 copies of SV40 DNA and had a linear range from 1 × 102 to 1 × 106 copies. SV40 DNA was detected in 1 specimen (an ependymoma). However, few SV40 DNA copies were detected in this sample (< 10 copies, equivalent to <1 copy/350 cells, based on simultaneous GAPDH quantification), and SV40 was not detected when this sample was retested. Our findings do not support a role for SV40 in choroid plexus tumors or ependymomas from northern India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Brain tumor
  • Choroid plexus tumor
  • Ependymoma
  • India
  • Simian virus 40

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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