JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY, vol.87, no.10, pp.1625-1632, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
An increased incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) after West Nile Virus (WNV) infections has been suggested but the association of WNV infections with renal damage remain inconclusive. This study was undertaken to characterize WNV infections in individuals with acute kidney injury (AKI) and CKD, and to evaluate hemodialysis as a probable transmission route. A total of 463 plasma and urine samples were collected from 45 AKI and 77 CKD patients. Nested and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were employed for viral RNA detection. Specific immunoglobulins were investigated via immunofluorescence and plaque reduction neutralization assays. Consecutive pre and post-dialysis samples were evaluated in CKD cases. WNV RNA and specific immunoglobulins were detected in 7 (5.7%) and 5 (4.1%) individuals, respectively. The AKI patients with WNV RNA in blood and urine had underlying diseases requiring immunosuppressive therapy and demonstrated moderate to high viral loads. No clinical symptom related to WNV infection were observed in CKD cases with detectable viral nucleic acids. All WNV sequences were characterized as lineage 1 clade 1a and several amino acid substitutions with unknown impact were noted. Detailed epidemiologic investigation of WNV RNA positive CKD cases revealed probable vector-borne virus exposure, without the evidence for transmission via hemodialysis. J. Med. Virol. 87:1625-1632, 2015. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.