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Is detection of JC virus DNA in blood a valuable screening test for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in Crohn’s disease patients eligible for anti-α4 integrin therapy?
  1. G Pineton de Chambrun1,
  2. G Vernier-Massouille1,
  3. N Viget2,
  4. J-F Colombel1,
  5. Y Yazdanpanah2
  1. 1Clinique des maladies de l’appareil digestif et de la nutrition, Hôpital Claude Huriez, CHRU Lille, France
  2. 2Service universitaire régional des maladies infectieuses et du voyageur, Centre Hospitalier de Tourcoing, France
  1. Professor J-F Colombel, Clinique des maladies de l’appareil digestif et de la nutrition, Hôpital Claude Huriez, rue Michel Polonovski, 59037 Lille Cedex, France; jfcolombel{at}

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We read with interest the article by Verbeeck and colleagues (Gut 2008;57:1393–7) investigating the presence of JC virus DNA in urine and blood as a screening tool for active viral replication in immunosuppressed patients with Crohn’s disease. Based on their data, these authors propose using serial assessments of JC virus DNA in the blood compartment to monitor such patients for the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) before and during anti-α4 integrin therapy. They postulated that the presence of JC viraemia may be a risk factor for future progression to PML. Moreover, in agreement with other studies they suggest that the absence of JC virus DNA in blood can be associated with …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: This study was approved by the Lille University Hospital Ethics Committee on 1 February 2007.

  • Patient consent: Written informed consent was obtained from three of the five subjects included in this study. The two remaining patients were unfortunately not alive at the time this study was designed.

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