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BK VIRUS: WHAT TRANSPLANT PATIENTS NEED TO KNOW

From the NKF website and help from Jane

BK virus is a virus that most people get in childhood. Symptoms can feel like a common cold. Once you get a BK virus infection, the virus stays in your system for good. But it does not cause a problem for most people. This is called latent, or like being ‘asleep’ in your body.  Sometimes, when your immune system is not working well, the virus wakes up. Then it can cause symptoms of infection. BK virus is also called polyomavirus.

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  • Hello, I have been placed on Leflunomide (an immunosuppressant and antiviral) in hopes of ridding the BK virus. 

    I am post kidney tx 4 months when BK was found to be elevated and continued to elevate despite stopping 

    Mycophenolic acid (Myfortic/Cellcept)   If anyone is on this please send me any information, side effects, that you may be experiencing. 

    Hoping for good results.  Thank you.  

    Jane

    • I had been taking it without issue for many years.  I have heard some complain of GI issues until the body gets used to it. It is your job to complain/relay any issues with any medication change to the Tx team/nephrologist. Your dose may be lower than others to help fight the BK virus.  Good Luck.

  • Hello Kidneyboy, Doors this also apply to those of us who had liver transplants?
    • This is a more common complication seen with kidney Txs, however this virus does affect those, who have reduced or suppressed immune systems.  Many liver Tx recipients have kidney issues/damage as a result of liver failure.  As always, your Tx team will be the best source of information and guidance on any subject.

      BK & liver Tx

       

      Different behaviour of BK-virus infection in liver transplant recipients
      Polyomavirus BK (BKV) infects up to 90% of the general population. After primary infection, occurring early during childhood, a state of non-replicat…
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