Dynamic expression of JC virus in urine and its relationship to serostatus

J. R. Berger, R. J. Danaher, J. Dobbins, D. Do, C. S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: There is limited information regarding the daily shedding of JC virus (JCV) in urine and its correlation with serum JCV antibody levels. Methods: The dynamic expression of JCV in urine and its correlation with JCV antibody status in patients receiving disease modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis were examined in a longitudinal case-control study. JCV antibody index levels were determined using a two-step ELISA (Stratify). JCV shedding in urine samples was determined by quantitative PCR during two 30-day study periods separated by intervals of at least 6 months. Results: Of 42 study subjects (57% female; ages 22–56, average age 39.6 years), 27 (64.3%) were JCV antibody positive (index >0.40) at initial urine collection. Twelve seropositive subjects (44.4%) had detectable JCV in their urine with values ranging from 290 to 5.08 × 108 copies/mL. Daily viral shedding in these patients remained fairly constant throughout the study. Urinary JCV shedding was not detected in any JCV antibody index negative or indeterminate subject. In JCV urinary shedders, the average JCV antibody index was 2.69 (range 1.67–3.57). The average anti-JCV antibody index for the remaining JCV seropositive individuals without viral urinary shedding was 1.35 (range 0.46–3.91). Conclusion: MS patients displayed a consistent pattern of JCV shedding over days and months in which higher levels of viruria appeared to have driven higher levels of JCV antibody index. The findings provide additional insights into the dynamic expression of JCV and host response; however, studies in larger populations and of longer duration will be needed to determine their significance to the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Original languageEnglish
Article number101972
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Samuel G. Miller, Brian B. Glatt, and Chandler Albright of the University of Kentucky for help with the molecular assays. This study was supported by a grant from Biogen

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Disease modifying therapy
  • JC virus
  • JCV antibody index
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
  • Urine viral shedding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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