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Keywords:

  • polyomavirus;
  • BK virus;
  • menstrual cycle;
  • JC virus

Abstract

The hypothesis was examined that physiologic variation of estrogen concentrations during the menstrual cycle can provoke BK virus (BKV) excretion. BKV and JCV viral loads were determined in urine specimens obtained almost daily from 20 healthy, non-pregnant women over 2 months. Asymptomatic urinary shedding of BKV was observed in 123 (12.0%) of 1,021 specimens from 11 (55%) study subjects. Two subjects excreted JCV in their urine, with one subject excreting detectable JCV in all urine specimens. Analysis of 36 complete menstrual cycles revealed no difference in the prevalence of BKV excretion between pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory phases of the menstrual cycle. The unexpected day-to-day variability in BKV excretion suggests that as yet unidentified factors may contribute to the periodic shedding of BKV by healthy women. J. Med. Virol. 84:1459–1463, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.