Chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (CIRDs) are immune-mediated pathologies involving joints. To date, TNFa-blocking agents administration is the most promising therapy, although these treatments are associated with an increased Polyomavirus JC (JCPyV) reactivation, the etiological agent of the Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML). The aim of this study was the recruitment and the analysis of a CIRDs cohort in order to investigate a possible correlation between JCPyV presence and the influence of anti-TNF-α agents on viral loads. Blood and urine samples were collected from 34 CIRDs subjects prior the first anti-TNF-α infusion (T0) and after 3 (T3), 6 (T6), 12 (T12), and 18 (T18) months. Results showed persistent JC viruria significantly higher than JC viremia throughout the 18 month follow-up study (p = 0.002). In JCPyV positive samples, the non-coding control region (NCCR) was analyzed. Results evidenced archetypal structures (type II-S) in all isolates with the exception of a sequence isolated from a plasma sample, that corresponds to the type II-R found in PML subjects. Finally, the viral protein 1 (VP1) genotyping was performed and results showed the prevalence of the European genotypes 1A, 1B, and 4. Since only few studies have been carried out to understand whether there is a PML risk in CIRDs population infected by JCPyV, this study contributes to enrich literature insight on JCPyV biology in this cluster. Further investigations are necessary in order to recognize the real impact of biologics on JCPyV life cycle and to identify possible and specific viral variants related to increased virulence in CIRDs patients.
- Chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases
- Human polyomavirus JC
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)