Human Polyomaviruses: Molecular and Clinical Perspectives

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9780471390091: Human Polyomaviruses: Molecular and Clinical Perspectives

Human Polyomaviruses
Molecular and Clinical perspectives
Edited by Kamel Khalili and Gerald L. Stoner
Our understanding of human polyomaviruses has evolved profoundly in the last fifteen years, creating an urgent need for an updated resource. Drs. Khalili and Stoner have collected the contributions of renowned researchers and clinicians in this cutting-edge volume.

Human Polyomaviruses: Molecular and Clinical Perspectives presents in-depth analyses, comprehensive reviews, and timely assessments of recent discoveries and ongoing controversies focused on these important viral pathogens. Beginning with an historical perspective, this book covers up-to-date investigations into the molecular biology and pathogenesis of human polyomaviruses. All aspects of these persistent infections are subsequently covered, including clinical issues, from diagnosis to information on treatment and drug trials. Central topics are:

  • BK virus
  • JC virus
  • Simian virus 40 (SV40) and its potential as a human pathogen
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

This reference is a superb indoctrination for graduate students, medical students, high-level undergraduates, and anyone engaged in the study of DNA viruses and their molecular biology, evolution, transmission, and pathological potential.

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From the Author:

Termed the "coelacanth of the viral world" by the authors, these fascinating persistent viruses have co-evolved with humans ever since "Out of Africa II" (100,000 years ago) and perhaps since "Out of Africa I" (1 million years ago). Unlike epidemic viruses which die out in small migrating bands due to viral immunity, the polyomaviruses persist in the kidney, despite the immune response, and are carried wherever their hosts migrate. Ubiquitous and universal, these viruses are usually benign. When JC virus causes disease, it is a fatal neurological infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, PML), usually in AIDS patients. BK virus is of increasing concern in kidney transplant recipients, where immunosuppression provides an environment in which its replication can threaten graft survival. SV40, the third virus covered in this book, was discovered as a monkey virus, and is the most controversial. It contaminated early polio vaccines in the late 1950s, and is now being associated with several rare cancers, especially mesothelioma. Here the authors speculate that SV40 may have been a human virus long before 1950, an ancestral species having spread to and evolved in rhesus monkeys, and then at some stage returned to reinfect humans. All aspects of these three viruses are covered by an international group of authors in 22 chapters, from molecular virology, to epidemiology, to oncology, neuropathology, and clinical issues relating to the current state of diagnosis and treatment. Also included are first-person accounts of virus discovery.


" excellent overview of the human polymaviruses. The book is broad, yet detailed in coverage." (Doody's Health Services, January 20, 2002)

"comprehensive", "well-indexed", "well-referenced", and "contains excellent color plates of histopathology" (Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, April 2002)

"this book, at over 650 pages, is indeed comprehensive" "a useful reference book for interested clinical neurologists, virologists and research scientists" (Microbiology Today, Vol. 29, May 2002)

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