Immune response to BK virus reactivation in renal transplant recipients
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BK virus, a virus of the polyomaviridae family, is a latent infection in up to 70% of the general population. However, it has been an emerging cause of renal allograft dysfunction in kidney transplant recipients. Existing research has elucidated the risk factors that may precipitate BK viremia and BK Virus Associated Nephropathy. Research into the humoral and adaptive immune response to BK reactivation is still ongoing. This thesis is part of a larger study that aims to further elucidate the various aspects of the cellular response to BK reactivation. It focuses on the methods of quantitation of BK virus pre-transplant, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post-transplant. Laboratory qPCR and clinical PCR assays were conducted and analyzed. Various aspects of the cellular and humoral response were also examined and analyzed. As there exists no standard protocol for BK surveillance in kidney transplant recipients, analysis of these data will undoubtedly pave the way for future research in this field. It was concluded that BKV levels in plasma and urine should be more stringently monitored and the required assays perfected for a higher degree of sensitivity.