Seroepidemiology of Human Polyomaviruses in a US Population

Anala Gossai, Tim Waterboer, Heather H. Nelson, Angelika Michel, Martina Willhauck-Fleckenstein, Shohreh F. Farzan, Anne G. Hoen, Brock C. Christensen, Karl T. Kelsey, Carmen J. Marsit, Michael Pawlita, Margaret R. Karagas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Polyomaviruses (PyV) are potentially tumorigenic in humans. However, limited data exist on the population seroprevalence of PyVs and individual characteristics that relate to seropositivity. Using multiplex serology, we determined the seroprevalence of 10 human PyVs (BK, JC, KI, WU, MCV, HPyV6, HPyV7, TSV, HPyV9, and HPyV10) among controls from a population-based skin cancer case-control study (n = 460) conducted in New Hampshire between 1993 and 1995. On a subset of participants (n = 194), methylation at CpG dinucleotides across the genome was measured in peripheral blood using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip array (Illumina Inc., San Diego, California), from which lymphocyte subtype proportions were inferred. All participants were seropositive for at least 1 PyV, with seroprevalences ranging from 17.6% (HPyV9) to 99.1% (HPyV10). Seropositivity to JC, MCV, and HPyV7 increased with age. JC and TSV seropositivity were more common among men than among women. Smokers were more likely to be HPyV9-seropositive but MCV-seronegative, and HPyV7 seropositivity was associated with prolonged glucocorticoid use. Based on DNA methylation profiles, differences were observed in CD8-positive T-and B-cell proportions by BK, JC, and HPyV9 seropositivity. Our findings suggest that PyV seropositivity is common in the United States and varies by sociodemographic and biological characteristics, including those related to immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (grants NCI R01CA057494, R01CA121147, and R01CA082354) and the National Institutes of Health (grants NIHGMS P20GM104416 and NIH/NLM K01LM011985).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author. All rights reserved.


  • antibodies
  • immunity
  • polyomavirus
  • prevalence


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