JC and BK polyomavirus-like particles as targets of innate and adaptive humoral immunity

Kardas, Piotr. JC and BK polyomavirus-like particles as targets of innate and adaptive humoral immunity. 2015, PhD Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_11528


JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) and BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) were identified as the first of now more than 12 human polyomaviruses (HPyVs). The average JCPyV and BKPyV seroprevalence rates in adults are 70% and 90%, respectively. After asymptomatic infection both viruses persist in the renourinary tract. In fact, asymptomatic viruria is detectable in one-third of general population. However, in immunocompromised patients, JCPyV and BKPyV replication may progress to significant diseases. Hence, JCPyV can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients with HIV-AIDS, malignancies or autoimmune diseases under immunosuppressive treatment. BKPyV can be a cause of polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PyVAN) in kidney transplant recipients or hemorrhagic cystitis (PyVHC) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Due to more frequent application of immunosuppression, the risk of developing these diseases has increased in the last few decades. The risk of PML development is estimated to be 100-fold higher for JCPyV-seropositive patients in comparison to JCPyV-seronegatives. Most cases of PyVAN and PyVHC have been tested positive for BKPyV at the moment of disease diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is no specific antiviral therapy against any of these HPyV diseases. Thus, current strategies to avert PyVAN or PyVHC aim at identifying patients with BKPyV viremia and reducing immunosuppression. Similar strategies for PML have not been effective, since JCPyV viremia is usually not detected prior to or at the diagnosis of disease. The fate of BKPyV and JCPyV virus-like particles (VLPs) was examined in an animal model corresponding to primary viremia in non-immune host. Radioactively labeled VLPs were used to assess blood decay, organ, and hepatocellular distribution of ligand, and non-labeled VLPs to examine cellular uptake by immunohisto- and cytochemistry. Rapid distribution of both BKPyV and JCPyV VLPs to the liver was observed, with lesser uptake in kidney and spleen. Liver uptake was predominantly observed in LSECs. Blood half-life and tissue distribution of both wild-type JCPyV VLPs and two mutant JCPyV VLPs (L55F and S269F), lacking sialic acid binding affinity, were similar, indicating involvement of non-sialic acid receptors in cellular uptake. We concluded that LSECs very effectively cleared a large fraction of blood-borne BKPyV and JCPyV VLPs, indicating a central role of these cells in early removal of polyomavirus from the circulation. Moreover, we observed that a subpopulation of endothelial cells in kidney, the main organ of polyomavirus persistence, showed selective and rapid uptake of VLPs, suggesting a role in viremic organ tropism (Simon-Santamaria et al., p. 54). Giving the increasing clinical need to reliably determine JCPyV and BKPyV IgG levels in patients at risk, we first reviewed and optimized serological tools for JCPyV and BKPyV IgG detection including virus-like particle (VLP)-based ELISA. We demonstrated that although no statistically significant differences in intraassay and interassay variability were revealed for JCPyV serology of 400-fold diluted sera from healthy donors, qualitative differences were seen in the identification of the individual JCPyV serostatus. The cause of discordance for approximately 10% of sera resulted from a low IgG activity close to the cutoff of the assay. Therefore we standardized the ELISA using reference serum for normalization. Moreover, we developed a preadsorption assay with cutoff of 35% reduction of the JCPyV IgG activity after preincubation with JCPyV VLPs. Importantly, we excluded BKPyV antibody cross-reactivity by testing JCPyV IgG positive sera in preadsorption assay using BKPyV VLPs. In conclusion, we showed that VLP-based ELISA with normalization can serve as a reliable tool for JCPyV IgG serology. Additionally, the preadsorption assay can help with unequivocal determination of JCPyV serostatus for samples with low IgG levels. (Kardas et al., p. 72). We also normalized this VLP-based ELISA for BKPyV IgG detection and showed that for seroepidemiology studies, normalized JCPyV and BKPyV IgG ELISA at 1:200 serum dilution provides optimal sensitivity and specificity with the lowest false-positive and false-negative rate. However, for individual risk assessment, 100-, 200-, and 400-fold dilutions combined with preadsorption for low-reactive sera might be the most appropriate (Kardas et al., p. 82). This improved ELISA was used to investigate JCPyV and BKPyV specific antibody levels in several clinical studies: (1) one case of PML patient where positive JCPyV IgG status was compatible with other PML-indicating symptoms (Kurmann et al., p. 90); (2) one case of PyVAN caused by JCPyV rather than BKPyV, as confirmed by JCPyV IgG/IgM positive and BKPyV IgG/IgM negative results (Lautenschlager et al., 99); (3) one case of PyVHC patient after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation where increasing BKPyV IgG activities were in line with progression of BKPyV viremia (Koskenvuo et al., p. 106). Further, by serological testing of 122 immunocompetent and 63 immunocompromised patients we demonstrated that the BKPyV IgG level is age-dependent, with the highest values between 20 and 30 years (Schmidt et al., p. 119). In another study we compared serological outcomes of ELISA utilizing two different antigens in terms of prognostic value in prostate cancer development. To accomplish this we utilized improved ELISA for BKPyV IgG activity to both BKPyV VLPs and BKPyV LTag. Testing of 226 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy for primary prostate cancer revealed that BKPyV VP1 serostatus, in contrast to BKPyV LTag, has no prognostic value in prostate cancer progression (Keller et al., p. 125). In conclusion, we provided a new input into knowledge about tropism and clearance of polyomaviruses from blood. Moreover, we established a reliable and sensitive VLP-based assay for specific detection of JCPyV and BKPyV IgG and IgM. Serostatus based on ELISA results was compatible with other symptoms of BKPyV- and JCPyV-related diseases.
Advisors:Rolink, Antonius G. and Hirsch, Hans H. and Speck, Roberto
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Further Research Groups at DBM > Developmental and Molecular Immunology (Rolink)
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis no:11528
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource
Identification Number:
Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 10:59
Deposited On:08 Feb 2016 15:42

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