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Open Access Research article

BK viremia in critically ill surgical patients with hemorrhagic or septic shock

Maximilian Nass1, Benedikt Weissbrich2, Moritz Huber1, Elisabeth Marion Schneider3 and Manfred Weiss1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Ulm, Steinhoevelstr. 9, 89075 Ulm, Germany

2 Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University Wuerzburg, Versbacher Str.7, 97078 Wuerzburg, Germany

3 Department of Experimental Anaesthesiology, University Hospital Medical School Ulm, Steinhoevelstr. 9, 89075 Ulm, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:100  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-100

Published: 16 February 2012

Abstract

Background

Infections with polyomavirus BK virus (BKV) are a common cause of renal dysfunction after renal transplantation and may also be harmful in surgical patients with shock. The aim of the present study was to determine the frequency of BKV viremia in critically ill surgical patients with septic or hemorrhagic shock, and, if viremia is detectable, whether viremia may be associated with renal dysfunction.

Findings

A total of 125 plasma samples from 44 critically ill surgical patients with septic or hemorrhagic shock were tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for BKV DNA during their stay on the intensive care unit (ICU). BKV viremia occurred in four patients, i.e. in three of the septic and in one of the hemorrhagic shock group. There was no association between viremia and renal dysfunction. All positive samples contained a low viral load (< 500 copies/ml).

Conclusions

Since BK viremia was rarely found and with low viral load only in critically ill surgical patients with shock, it is very unlikely that BK viremia results in BK nephropathy later on.

Keywords:
Acute kidney injury; Critically ill; Polyomavirus; BK virus; Sepsis; Shock