JC polyomavirus (JCV), the etiological agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, is ubiquitous in humans, infecting children asymptomatically, then persisting in renal tissue. It has been proposed that JCV is transmitted mainly from parents to children through long-term cohabitation. The objective of this study was to further elucidate the mode of JCV transmission. In 5 families, we selected parent/child pairs between whom JCV was probably transmitted (judged on the basis of the identity of a 610-bp JCV DNA sequence between the parent and child). We established 5 to 9 complete JCV DNA clones from the urine of each parent or child. The complete sequences of these clones were determined and compared in each family. Nucleotide substitutions were detected in 4 parents and 1 child, and sequence rearrangements (deletions or duplications) were found in 2 parents and 2 children. Phylogenetic comparison of the detected sequences indicated that the diversity of JCV DNA sequences was generated in each family (i.e. not caused by multiple infection). We found that in 4 of the 5 families, a sequence detected in the parent was completely identical to one in the child. These findings provided further support for the proposed mode of JCV transmission, i.e. parent-to-child transmission during cohabitation.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2004
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