Polyomaviruses are small DNA‐containing viruses that infect a wide variety of species in nature. The human polyomavirus known as JC virus causes a fatal central nervous system demyelinating disease known as progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy.

Keywords: BK virus; JC virus; Simian virus 40; progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy; immunosuppression

Figure 1.

(a) Computer‐generated image of a polyomavirus virion. (b) Location of VP2 within each VP1 pentamer (only two of the five VP1 molecules are shown).

Figure 2.

Comparison of (a) archetypal and (b) progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy (PML)‐type regulatory regions of JC virus. Note the duplication of domain A and the deletion of domain B in the PML‐type compared to the archetype.



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Further Reading

Arthur RR, Shah KV, Baust SJ, Santos GW and Saral R (1986) Association of BK viruria with hemorrhagic cystitis in recipients of bone marrow transplants. New England Journal of Medicine 315: 230–234.

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Sever JL and Madden DL (eds) (1983) Polyomaviruses and Human Neurological Disease. New York: Liss.

Shah KV (1996) Polyomaviruses. In: Fields BN, Knipe DM, Howley PM et al. (eds) Fields Virology, 3rd edn, pp. 2027–2043. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Weber T and Major EO (1997) Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: molecular biology, pathogenesis and clinical impact. Intervirology 40: 98–111.

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Atwood, Walter J, and Shah, Keerti V(Jul 2003) Polyomaviruses. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001082]