Polyomaviruses are small, non-enveloped viruses with a circular double-stranded DNA genome. Using a generic polyomavirus PCR targeting the VP1 major structural protein gene, a novel polyomavirus was initially identified in resected human liver tissue and provisionally named Human Polyomavirus 12 (HPyV12). Its 5033 bp genome is predicted to encode large and small T antigens and the 3 structural proteins VP1, VP2 and VP3. Phylogenetic analyses did not reveal a close relationship to any known human or animal polyomavirus. Investigation of organs, body fluids and excretions of diseased individuals and healthy subjects with both HPyV12-specific nested PCR and quantitative real-time PCR revealed additional virus-positive samples of resected liver, cecum and rectum tissues and a positive fecal sample. A capsomer-based IgG ELISA was established using the major capsid protein VP1 of HPyV12. Seroprevalences of 23% and 17%, respectively, were determined in sera from healthy adults and adolescents and a pediatric group of children. These data indicate that the virus naturally infects humans and that primary infection may already occur in childhood.
Korup, S., Rietscher, J., Calvignac-Spencer, S., Trusch, F., Hofmann, J., Moens, U., Sauer, I., Voigt, S., Schmuck, R., & Ehlers, B. (2013). Identification of a novel human polyomavirus in organs of the gastrointestinal tract. PloS ONE, 8(3), [e50821]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058021