In vivo detection of polyomaviruses JCV and SV40 in mesenchymal stem cells from human umbilical cords

Manola Comar, Serena Delbue, Nunzia Zanotta, Erica Valencic, Elisa Piscianz, Rossella Del Savio, Alessandra Tesser, Alberto Tommasini, Pasquale Ferrante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multipotent stromal cells are present in the Wharton's jelly matrix (WJSC) of the umbilical cord and can be used as an allogeneic source of cells to treat immunological disorders. Recently it was demonstrated that adult bone marrow (BM)-derived mesenchimal stromal cells (MSC) are susceptible to infection with viruses showing potential oncogenic properties, such as the polyomavirus JC (JCV). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of human polyomaviruses (JCV, BK Virus-BKV, SV40, and Merkel cell polyomavirus-MCPyV) in WJSC, and explore the risk of infection. Procedure: MSC samples from 35 umbilical cords were investigated by quantitative Real Time PCRs for the presence of DNA sequences of JCV, BKV, SV40, and MCPyV. Results: JCV DNA was detected in 1/35 (2.8%) of MSC samples, while SV40 DNA was found in 3/35 (8.6%) of the examined samples. None of the samples showed sequences of BKV and MCPyV. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the in vivo ability of polyomaviruses to infect WJSC. Since the therapeutic approach with the WJSC has high potentiality and a more intensive use can be easily hypothesized, the need to develop consensus guidelines to detect rare viral infections in MSC is pressing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1349
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Polyomavirus
  • Umbilical cords
  • Wharton's jelly stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology


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