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JC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma

JC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma

JC virus is a common pathogen that infects a majority of the human population during childhood, typically without causing any noticeable symptoms. It then stays dormant in the kidneys and may not cause any health problems in healthy individuals. However, in people with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV/AIDS or those undergoing organ transplant, the virus can reactivate and potentially lead to a serious brain condition known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

The JC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma test is performed to detect the presence of JC virus DNA in your blood. It is usually ordered when a person has symptoms of PML or is at high risk for the condition. The test employs Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, a sensitive and specific method that can detect even small amounts of the virus.


  • Test NameJC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma
  • Sample TypeBlood
  • Preparations RequiredNo specific preparations needed.
  • Report Time2 Days

Why would a doctor order a JC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma test?

A doctor may order this test if you are exhibiting neurological symptoms suggestive of PML, especially if you are at high risk, such as those with HIV/AIDS, or individuals receiving immunosuppressive drugs after organ transplantation. It can also be ordered to monitor the status of the virus in patients known to be at risk.

What is Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)?

PML is a rare and serious brain infection caused by the reactivation of JC virus in people with severely weakened immune systems. It leads to inflammation and damage to the white matter of the brain, causing neurological symptoms that can worsen over time.

Home Sample Collection Process
1
Book your convenient slot
Book your convenient slot
2
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
3
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
4
Download Reports
Download Reports
Frequently Asked Questions

Symptoms of PML can vary widely and depend on the area of the brain affected. They may include weakness or paralysis, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking or swallowing, vision problems, memory loss, and changes in personality or behavior.

A positive result indicates the presence of JC virus DNA in your blood. This may suggest an active JC virus infection and potential risk for PML. However, a positive result does not necessarily mean you have PML, and further diagnostic evaluation is usually required.

The sample for this test is collected via a simple blood draw, usually from a vein in your arm.

The risks associated with a blood draw are minimal but may include slight pain or bruising at the site of the needle insertion, fainting or feeling lightheaded, and, rarely, infection.

A negative result reduces the likelihood of an active JC virus infection but does not completely rule out the possibility of PML, especially if you are at high risk and/or showing symptoms.

The frequency of testing depends on your overall health status and potential risk factors for PML. Your doctor will provide specific guidance based on your individual health situation.

Certain medications or treatments that suppress the immune system could potentially influence the test results. Always inform your healthcare provider of any medications you are taking.

Yes, it is possible to have an active JC virus infection without symptoms, especially in the early stages. Regular testing is crucial for people at high risk for PML.

This test can be performed on individuals of any age. However, PML is extremely rare in children.

If your test results are positive, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to understand the implications and discuss further diagnostic testing or treatment options.

While there's no cure for PML, the primary treatment strategy involves boosting the immune system, often by discontinuing or altering immunosuppressive treatments. Certain antiviral drugs may also be used.

No, this test requires a blood sample to be drawn by a healthcare professional and must be carried out in a medical or laboratory setting.

Yes, any condition or treatment that severely weakens the immune system can potentially lead to the reactivation of JC virus, including certain types of cancer and their treatments.

In summary, the JC Virus - DNA Detection by PCR - Plasma test is a valuable tool for detecting active JC virus infection and assessing the risk of PML, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems. If you have further questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for more information.

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