Anja Maria Söderlund-Venermo / Ansvarig forskare



Public description:

We are now living in the second golden era of virology research. Newer techniques and detection methods are opening new frontiers in virus discovery. Since 2005, 9 novel human parvoviruses have been discovered, of which bocavirus 1 has been shown by us and others to cause mild to life-threatening pediatric respiratory tract infections, bufavirus to associate with diarrhea, and cutavirus with cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Many of these viruses have, however, been identified so recently that almost nothing is known of their biology, epidemiology or pathogenicity. We are determining the biological and clinical significance and spread of these emerging human parvoviruses by development of a complete repertoire of methods for their detection and accurate diagnosis of their infections. We further intend to characterize the viruses themselves and identify their cell- and tissue tropisms as well as the mechanism of persistence in our body. Novel unknown viruses like these can be of fundamental importance in causing acute or chronic illness, and assessment of their disease associations, epidemiology and molecular characteristics may provide new opportunities for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many diseases awaiting etiology. Our results have the potential to open new research avenues in basic and clinical virology, cancer research and health care.

Recent highlights:

- We showed that antibody EIA, mRNA RT-PCR or PCR of serum is needed for accurate diagnosis of acute HBoV1 infections, while the commonly used PCR of airway samples is insufficient.

- We showed that respiratory infections by HBoV1 are systemic, elicit immune responses, cause respiratory tract symptoms and otitis media, and affect almost all children before age 7.

- We showed that HBoV1 can persist in the upper airways for 6 months, cause life-threatening respiratory infections, can penetrate the blood-brain barrier causing encephalitis, and along with HBoV2-4, confuse serology by cross reactivity and an immunological phenomenon called “original antigenic sin”.

- We confirmed bufavirus to be a human virus and showed B-cell responses in humans.

- We found a striking difference in the global seroprevalence of BuV: 2-4% in Finland and the USA but 56-85% in Africa and the Middle East.

- We found a significant association of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma with detection of cutavirus DNA in skin biopsies.

- We found an even higher genoprevalence and significant association of CuV in parapsoriasis en plaques, a precursor of CTCL/MF.

Our team:

Current PhD students: Ushanandini Mohanraj, Rajita Rayamajhi Thapa, Sally Chesnut, Irini Assimakopoulou

Past PhD students: Kati Hokynar 2007, Laura Kakkola 2008, Anita Riipinen 2011, Päivi Norja 2012, Tingting Chen 2013, Kalle Kantola 2014, Reza Sadeghi 2014, Elina Väisänen 2020, Man Xu 2022.

Past graduate and short-term students: Anne Lahtinen, Inga Ziemle, Yu Fu, Daranee Monthian, Maija Jokinen, Michelle Ardales, Mari Toppinen, Tommaso Gritti.

Recent visiting senior researchers: Zaiga Nora-Krukle, Jingjing Li

PI: Maria Söderlund-Venermo


  • 3111 Biomedicinska vetenskaper

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