In 2006, I started a new research line on human picornaviruses within the Dept of Medical Microbiology. We established the role of human parechoviruses (HPeVs) as serious and frequently occurring pathogens in young infants, and two new types HPeV4 and HPeV14 were discovered. We defined classification rules for HPeVs in good agreement with the Picornavirus Studygroup; nowadays, 16 types are known. We were the first to show significant differences in clinical symptoms and age of infection between HPeV3 and HPeV1, and the importance of HPeV3 in viral CNS infections.

Our laboratory is specialized in fast and reliable laboratory diagnosis for entero- rhino- and parechovirus infections, all members of the Picornavirus family. We use virus genotyping to show the widespreadness of the different virus genoypes and their relation with clinical symptoms. We have expertise in molecular evolution studies.

Our research within this area is translational. The role of maternal antibody protection in picornavirus infection in neonates is studied, as well as differences in cell tropism between picornavirus types in relation to disease severity. Furthermore we focus on treatment possibilities and resistance mechanisms.

In 2013, I became coordinator of an EU FP7 IAPP grant called AIROPico, bringing together researchers from the picornavirus field, evolutionary biologists, structural biologists, and scientists as well as SMEs developing antiviral compounds and new diagnostic methods. The coming four years we will collaborate on increasing knowledge on picornavirus pathogenesis, development of fast diagnostic techniques and development of antiviral therapy for this large virus group.
Effective start/end date01/01/2013 → …

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