Viruria - Virus infections in the urine

All information about Viruria - Virus infections in the urine

At a glance

Viruria basically describes the presence of viruses in the urine.

In acute viral infections, the virus is usually present in the blood, throat, feces, and in some cases also in the cerebrospinal fluid or urine. Especially in the case of infections in the genitourinary system, the viruses can usually be reliably detected in the urine.

Usually, viruses are detected in the urine in three ways:

  1. Detection of inclusion bodies in the cells of the urinary sediment
  2. Specific immunofluorescence of cells
  3. Isolation of the virus in tissue cultures
Further information

Viral infections in which viruria is more important are:

  • Measles virus
  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • Human adenoviruses
  • Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PAN)
  • Enteroviruses (newborn: hepatitis and myocarditis)

Depending on the infection, further transmission by urine can be more or less important. Essential ways are:

  • Lubrication infection
  • Inhalation of the urine aerosol during urication (droplet infection)
  • Drying and spreading of viruses via the air

In the case of animal viruses, these are transmitted by contact with the urine of host animals or by inhalation of the dried host. For example hantaviruses and arena viruses.

With regard to coronaviruses (MERS-CoV, e.g. COVID-19, SARS), there are case reports in which viral RNA of MERS-CoV has been found in the respiratory tract, blood, urine and stool. It is known that the virus primarily affects the respiratory tract, but a high viral load is also often found in the kidney. Covid-19 damages not only the lungs, but also the kidneys. On the one hand, kidney damage, usually in the form of hematuria or albuminuria, could be observed after a corona infection and on the other hand, patients with kidney disease are more likely to have severe courses. In some pathological examinations of kidneys of deceased corona patients, more scarring altered kidney areas up to necrosis could be observed. One possible explanation for this association is that the receptor that the virus affects in the lungs is also present in the kidney.

With regard to Medipee Technology, there is still no concrete test for these viruses. This is part of development work. However, the nationwide measurement of urine temperature would make it possible to monitor the pandemic spread of fever-causing viruses. Infection nests could thus be located at an early stage. If the association of positive values in the urine of albumin, erythrocytes, leukocytes and COVID-19 is confirmed in certain patient groups, urine monitoring via the Medipee System would also be an effective approach.

See also: Blood in the urine, Medications, Did you already know?

Sources

  • Chon, W.J. et al. (2016): High-level viruria as a screening tool for BK virus nephropathy in renal transplant recipients. Kidney Res Clin Pract.; 35(3):176–181
  • Hocke, A.C., Becher, A., Knepper, J. et al. Emerging human Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus causes widespread Infection and alveolar Damage in human Lungs. At J Respir Crit Care Med 2013; 188: 882–886
  • Babel, N., Volk, H., Reinke, P. (2011): BK polyomavirus infection and nephropathy: the virus-immune system interplay. Nat Rev Nephrol. v;7:399-406
  • Virus in urine (1967: Br Med J. 1(5533):126
  • Wikipedia, URDs: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virurie, retrieved March 18, 2020
  • The Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3009(13)70154-3
  • Su, Hua et al. (2020): Renal histopathological analysis of 26 postmortem findings of patients with COVID-19 in China, Kidney International
Status of information: Spring 2020