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BK virus: a potential complication after a kidney transplant


Professor Andrew Macdonald, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation, talks to Kidney Matters about how research at University of Leeds is supporting the development of new treatments for BK virus.

BK virus is a common virus that infects most people by the age of about 10 years.

A healthy immune system keeps the virus in check, but BK can be reactivated or ‘wake up’ when the immune system is suppressed, potentially damaging a transplanted kidney.

Professor Andrew Macdonald is working with a group of researchers and clinicians, including Dr Matt Welberry Smith, Consultant in Renal Medicine and Renal Transplantation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, to develop new approaches to BK after kidney transplantation.

“Most of the UK research groups, including our group in Leeds, are focused on trying to understand the basics of how BK enters the cells, replicates and then gets out of cells,” said Professor Macdonald.