Human BK and JC polyomaviruses: Molecular insights and prevalence in Asia

Iqra Hussain, Fareeda Tasneem, Usman Shah Gilani, Muhammad Imran Arshad, Muhammad Farhan ul Haque, Zaigham Abbas, Muhammed Umer, Naveed Shahzad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Polyomaviridae family consists of small circular dsDNA viruses. Out of the 14 human polyomaviruses described so far, BKPyV and JCPyV have been studied extensively since their discovery in 1971. Reportedly, both BKPyV and JCPyV are widely distributed across the globe with the frequency of 80–90 % in different populations. The primary infection of these viruses is usually asymptomatic and latent which is activated as a consequence of immunosuppression. Activated BKPyV and JCPyV viruses lead to the development of BK Virus Associated Nephropathy and Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, respectively. Immense progress has been made during the last few decades regarding the molecular understanding of polyomaviruses. Epidemiology of polyomaviruses has also been studied extensively. However, most of the epidemiological studies have focused on European and American populations. Therefore, limited data is available regarding the geographical distribution of these potentially oncogenic viruses in Asian countries. In this article, we have presented a compendium of latest advances in the molecular understanding of polyomaviruses and their pathobiology. We also present a comprehensive review of published literature regarding the epidemiology and prevalence of BKPyV and JCPyV in Asian regions. For this purpose, a thorough search of available online resources was performed. As a result, we retrieved 24 studies for BKPyV and 22 studies for JCPyV, that describe their prevalence in Asia. These studies unanimously report high occurrence of both BKPyV and JCPyV in Asian populations. The available data from these studies was categorized into two groups: on the basis of prevalence (low, medium and high) and disease development (healthy and diseased). Altogether, Korean population hasbeen evidenced to possess highest frequency of BKPyV (66.7 %), while JCPyV was found to be most prevalent in Taiwan (88 %). Due to high and ubiquitous distribution of these viruses, frequent studies are required to develop a better understanding regarding the epidemiology and pathobiology of these viruses in Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number197860
JournalVirus Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • BK polyomavirus
  • JC polyomavirus
  • PML and prevalence


Dive into the research topics of 'Human BK and JC polyomaviruses: Molecular insights and prevalence in Asia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this