John Cunningham virus

John Cunningham virus (but universally called the JC virus) is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus of the polyomaviridae family 1. It is the aetiological agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Cases of cerebellar neuronal involvement (JC virus granule cell neuronopathy) as well as meningitis have also been attributed to this virus in immunosuppressed hosts 4.


It was reported that ~70% of adults have been exposed to this virus; however, no significant clinical syndrome has been associated with this acquisition in the majority of immunocompetent hosts 1

History and etymology 

The virus was first described by Åström et al. in 1958 2, and was first isolated in 1971 by Padgett et al. The latter group assigned the name of the patient to the virus 3.

Infections of the central nervous system
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Article information

rID: 37530
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • JC virus

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