A case control study reveals that polyomaviruria is significantly associated with interstitial cystitis and vesical ulceration

Benjamin J. Winter, Helen E O'Connell, Scott Bowden, Marcus Carey, Damon P. Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate whether polyomaviruses contribute to interstitial cystitis pathogenesis. Subjects and Methods: A prospective study was performed with 50 interstitial cystitis cases compared with 50 agematched, disease-free controls for the frequency of polyomaviruria. Associations between polyomaviruria and disease characteristics were analysed in cases. Polyomavirus in urine and bladder tissue was detected with species (JC virus vs. BK virus) specific, real-time PCR. Results: Case patients were reflective of interstitial cystitis epidemiology with age range from 26-88 years (median 58) and female predominance (41/50 F). There was a significant increase in the frequency of polyomavirus shedding between cases and controls (p<0.02). Polyomavirus shedding, in particular BK viruria, was associated with vesical ulceration, a marker of disease severity, among interstitial cystitis cases after adjustment for age and sex (OR 6.8, 95%CI 1.89-24.4). There was a significant association among cases between the presence of BK viruria and response to intravesical Clorpactin therapy (OR 4.50, 95%CI 1.17-17.4). Conclusion: The presence of polyomaviruria was found to be associated with the ulcerative form of interstitial cystitis. Clorpactin, which has anti-DNA virus activity, was more likely to improve symptoms in the presence of BK viruria. These data from this pilot study suggest associations between polyomaviruria and interstitial cystitis warranting further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0137310
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cystitis
  • bladder
  • polyomaviruses
  • biopsy
  • cystoscopy
  • molting
  • infectious disease control
  • urine

Cite this