CMV Viremia is associated with a decreased incidence of BKV reactivation after kidney and kidney-pancreas transplantation

Nissreen Elfadawy, Stuart M. Flechner, Xiaobo Liu, Jesse Schold, Titte R. Srinivas, Emilio Poggio, Richard Fatica, Robin Avery, Sherif B. Mossad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and BK virus (BKV) infections can cause significant morbidity after kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant. There are limited data on the epidemiology and interactions between these two viral pathogens. METHODS: We prospectively screened 609 kidney or kidney-pancreas transplant recipients from January 2007 to June 2011 for BKV and/or CMV viremia. This included 7453 quantitative BKV polymerase chain reaction and 15,496 quantitative CMV polymerase chain reaction tests. We evaluated risk factors and timing of these infections and the impact of treatment of one infection on the other. RESULTS: Among 609 recipients, 108 (17.7%) developed CMV viremia, of which 95 (88%) were asymptomatic, 5 (5%) had CMV syndrome, and 8 (7%) developed CMV tissue invasive disease at a median of 5.6 months after transplantation. Risk factors for CMV infection using multivariable analysis were D+R-serogroup (P≤0.0001), donor age >50 years (P=0.013), and higher mean tacrolimus (P=0.0009) and mycophenolate mofetil (P=0.01) blood levels. The incidence of BKV infection in the total population was 163 of 609 (26.7%), of which 150 (92%) occurred in patents without antecedent CMV viremia. Such patients demonstrated a higher rate of subsequent BKV viremia than patients with antecedent CMV viremia (P=0.003; hazard ratio, 2.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.4). Moreover, we found that only symptomatic CMV viremia had a significant negative impact on graft survival when compared with asymptomatic CMV viremia and those without CMV viremia (relative risk, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-8.9; P=0.04). CONCLUSION: CMV viremia may indirectly protect against subsequent BK viremia possibly due to a reduction of intensity of immunosuppression after diagnosis of CMV viremia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1103
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2013


  • BK virus
  • CMV virus
  • Kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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