A transgenic mouse model was used to identify an HLA-A*02-restricted epitope within the VP1 polypeptide of a human polyomavirus, BK virus (BKV), which is associated with polyomavirus-associated nephropathy in kidney transplant patients. Peptide stimulation of splenocytes from mice immunized with recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing BKV VP1 resulted in expansion of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) recognizing the sequence LLMWEAVTV corresponding to amino acid residues 108 to 116 (BKV VP1p108). These effector T-cell populations represented functional CTLs as assessed by cytotoxicity and cytokine production and were cross-reactive against antigen-presenting cells pulsed with a peptide corresponding to the previously described JC virus (JCV) VP1 homolog sequence ILMWEAVTL (JCV VP1p100) (I. J. Koralnik et al., J. Immunol. 168499-504, 2002). A panel of 10 healthy HLA-A*02 human volunteers and two kidney transplant recipients were screened for T-cell immunity to this BK virus VP1 epitope by in vitro stimulation of their peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with the BKV VP1p108 peptide, followed by tetramer labeling combined with simultaneous assays to detect intracellular cytokine production and degranulation. PBMC from 4/10 subjects harbored CTL populations that recognized both the BKV VP1p108 and the JCV VP1p100 peptides with comparable efficiencies as measured by tetramer binding, gamma interferon production, and degranulation. CTL responses to the JCV VP1p100 epitope have been associated with prolonged survival in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy patients (R. A. Du Pasquier et al., Brain 1271970-1978, 2004; I. J. Koralnik et al., J. Immunol. 168499-504, 2002). Given that both human polyomaviruses are resident in a high proportion of healthy individuals and that coinfection occurs (W. A. Knowles et al., J. Med. Virol. 71115-123, 2003), our findings suggest a reinterpretation of this protective T-cell immunity, suggesting that the same VP1 epitope is recognized in HLA-A*02 persons in response to either BK or JC virus infection.