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Title: Merkel cell polyomavirus is not detected in mesotheliomas.
Authors: Bhatia K,  Modali R,  Goedert JJ
Journal: J Clin Virol
Date: 2010 Feb
Branches: IIB
PubMed ID: 20006539
PMC ID: PMC2818524
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is the first polyoma virus consistently linked to the etiology of a human cancer. Serological studies indicate that the virus is commonly acquired in childhood, with seroprevalence reaching 50% or higher among young adults. The modes of MCPyV transmission are still unclear, but it has been identified in respiratory tract samples. Given its respiratory tropism, we examined whether MCPyV could be detected in mesothelioma tissue, a malignancy induced in animal models by another polyomavirus, SV40. OBJECTIVE: To determine if MCPyV DNA can be detected in mesothelioma. STUDY DESIGN: DNA was extracted from 45 fresh-frozen mesothelioma samples. PCR was used to detect and quantify the abundance of MCPyV DNA, and a human control gene, in duplicates of the tissues. DNA from a sequence verified MCC tumor was used as a positive control. RESULTS: The human control gene was detected at high levels in all but three mesothelioma tissues. MCPyV DNA was detected in only one mesothelioma, and the level of viral DNA was very low. CONCLUSIONS: These results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that MCPyV is etiologically linked to mesothelioma.