From Stockholm to Malawi: Recent developments in studying human polyomaviruses

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Until a few years ago the polyomavirus family (Polyomaviridae) included a dozen viruses identified in avian and mammalian hosts. Two of these, the JC and BK-polyomaviruses isolated a long time ago, are known to infect humans and cause severe illness in immunocompromised hosts. Since 2007 an unprecedented number of eight novel polyomaviruses were discovered in humans. Among them are the KI-and WU-polyomaviruses identified in respiratory samples, the Merkel cell polyomavirus found in skin carcinomas and the polyomavirus associated with trichodysplasia spinulosa, a skin disease of transplant patients. Another four novel human polyomaviruses were identified, HPyV6, HPyV7, HPyV9 and the Malawi polyomavirus, so far not associated with any disease. In the same period several novel mammalian polyomaviruses were described. This review summarizes the recent developments in studying the novel human polyomaviruses, and touches upon several aspects of polyomavirus virology, pathogenicity, epidemiology and phylogeny. © 2013 SGM.




Feltkamp, M. C. W., Kazem, S., van der Meijden, E., Lauber, C., & Gorbalenya, A. E. (2013). From Stockholm to Malawi: Recent developments in studying human polyomaviruses. Journal of General Virology.

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