Background: BK virus (BKV) is known to be associated with nephropathy. Here, we investigated the relationships between BKV levels, T-cell activation, and kidney function in kidney transplant recipients. Materials and methods: In renal transplant patients and controls, urine BKV levels were detected by quantitative real-time PCR, and the percentage of activated T lymphocytes in blood was determined by flow cytometry. The correlations between viral load, activated T cell percentage, and renal function were determined. Results: Urine BKV viral loads and the activated T cell percentage were significantly elevated in transplant recipients. Correlational analysis indicated that transplant recipients that had BKV levels of more than 106 copies/mL and an activated T lymphocyte percentage of less than 20% were likely to have poor renal function. Conclusions: Urine BKV levels and the percentage of activated T lymphocytes can be used as clinical indices to optimize the dosage of immunosuppressive drugs.
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