Characterization of the non-coding control region of polyomavirus KI isolated from nasopharyngeal samples from patients with respiratory symptoms or infection and from blood from healthy blood donors in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of General Virology. 2016, 97 (7), 1647-1657. 10.1099/jgv.0.000473
Seroepidemiological studies showed that the human polyomavirus KI (KIPyV) is common in the human population, with age-specific seroprevalence ranging from 40–90 %. Genome epidemiological analyses demonstrated that KIPyV DNA is predominantly found in respiratory tract samples of immunocompromised individuals and children suffering from respiratory diseases, but viral sequences have also been detected in brain, tonsil, lymphoid tissue studies, plasma, blood and faeces. Little is known about the sequence variation in the non-coding control region of KIPyV variants residing in different sites of the human body and whether specific strains dominate in certain parts of the world. In this study, we sequenced the non-coding control region (NCCR) of naturally occurring KIPyV variants in nasopharyngeal samples from patients with respiratory symptoms or infection and in blood from healthy donors in Norway. In total 86 sequences were obtained, 44 of which were identical to the original isolated Stockholm 60 variant. The remaining NCCRs contained one or several mutations, none of them previously reported. The same mutations were detected in NCCRs amplified from blood and nasopharyngeal samples. Some patients had different variants in their specimens. Transient transfection studies in HEK293 cells with a luciferase reporter plasmid demonstrated that some single mutations had a significant effect on the relative early and late promoter strength compared with the Stockholm 60 promoter. The effect of the NCCR mutations on viral replication and possible virulence properties remains to be established.