Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

BK Virus PCR (Quantitative) - blood plasma specimen

  • LIS Mnemonic: BKVPCRQT


    Lavendar (EDTA)

    Volume Required

    4-7 ml; for infants a volume of 2-4 ml is acceptable

    Minimum Required

    4 ml; for infants a volume of 2 ml is acceptable


    Keep specimen at 4C



    Unacceptable conditions

    Clotted specimens

Days Performed



Same day

Reflex Testing

When monitoring the blood of immunocompromised patients for BK virus over time, a quantitative PCR assay will be automatically performed on all patients whose blood has been previously positive for BK virus by qualitative and/or quantitative PCR testing.




Amplification and detection of BK virus DNA using real-time TaqMan PCR and nucleic acid primer/probe pairs specific for conserved regions of the BK virus genome. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Disease Information


BK virus can cause ureteral ulcerations, stenosis, and hemorrhagic cystitis in renal transplant recipients. Persistent active replication of BKV in renal transplant recipients also has been associated with progressive loss of the graft due to BKV-associated nephropathy. BKV-associated hemorrhagic cystitis is a major complication of bone marrow transplants. Continuous monitoring of urine and plasma by real-time PCR is desirable to predict disease and follow recovery over time.


If positive, the quantity of BK virus DNA is reported in both copies/ml and log10 values. Dynamic range of the assay is 302 copies/ml to 600 million

Reference Values

Negative or quantity of BK virus DNA is less than the lower limit of detection

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