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BK and JC polyomaviruses and risk of urothelial bladder carcinoma: a preliminary study in the northern shores of Persian Gulf, Iran

Infect Agent Cancer. 2022 Sep 19;17(1):50. doi: 10.1186/s13027-022-00463-x.


BACKGROUND: Bladder cancer is a challenging public health concern in South of Iran because of its high prevalence and the related medical expenses. Although the exact etiology of bladder cancer remains unknown, given the cell transforming ability and oncogenic potential of the members of Polyomaviridae families, this study was conducted to evaluate the magnitude of BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) and John Cunningham polyomavirus (JCPyV) among patients with bladder cancer residents in the northern shores of the Persian Gulf, South of Iran.

METHODS: Totally 211 patients with bladder cancer were enrolled in this study. Bladder biopsy samples of these patients and patients with interstitial cystitis as well as autoptic samples of healthy bladder were tested for detection of BKPyV and JCPyV by semi-nested PCR-RFLP followed by sequencing.

RESULTS: BKPyV and JCPyV were detected in 1.7% and 6.1% of bladder cancer samples, respectively. These samples were infected with JCPyV genotypes 2, 3 and 6 and BKPyV genotypes I and IV. BKPyV and JCPyV coinfection was detected in 2 samples. Moreover, one of the healthy bladder samples was positive for BKPyV, and one of the interstitial cystitis samples was positive for JCPyV. Although the majority of infected patients were in the age group 70-79 years, male, residents in Tangestan, stage Ta-T1, and low-grade and high-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma, the prevalence of BKPyV and JCPyV among patients with bladder cancer was not statistically associated with age, gender, place of residency, and stage and grade of the tumor.

CONCLUSION: Despite identifying BKPyV and JCPyV in a number of bladder cancer biopsy specimens and the high prevalence of bladder cancer among people resident in South of Iran, it is suggested that these viruses are unlikely to be effective causative factors in bladder carcinogenesis in this region. Therefore, environmental risk factors and genetic backgrounds may have a more prominent role than human polyomaviruses in the development of bladder cancer in South of Iran.

PMID:36123699 | DOI:10.1186/s13027-022-00463-x

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