Parechovirus epidemiology and pathogenesis

Study group:

Sisko Tauriainen, Ph.D., Adjunct professor, Pekka Kolehmainen, Ph.D., Anu Siponen, B.Sc. Emmi Vuorinen B.Sc.
Email: sisko.tauriainen(at), Phone: +358-2-3337473


Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) belong to the Picornavirdae family. They are small, non-enveloped and have a positive strand RNA genome of about 7300 bases. HPeV type 1 is a common virus infecting mainly children; practically everyone contacts it by the age of 3 years. HPeVs cause usually mild respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, but also severe central nervous systems infections, like meningitis, encephalitis and sepsis-like disease, have been detected in new-born babies. Mainly these severe symptoms are caused by HPeV3.

We have studied the HPeV epidemiology and disease connections and confirmed that HPeVs are common and the severe diseases do occur also in Finland. We were the first to identify HPeV4 as a serious disease causing type of these viruses in children with sepsis-like disease. Our studies focus on the disease causing abilities of these viruses and why the causative type is mostly HPeV3. The studies are done in human neuronal cell models, in vitro. The virus-cell interactions are studied and how the changes in virus genome affect virus infectivity, speed of virus replication as well as cellular metabolism and morphology.


Pekka Kolehmainen, Anne Jääskeläinen, Soile Blomqvist, Hannimari Kallio-Kokko, Kirsi Nuolivirta, Merja Helminen, Merja Roivainen, Maija Lappalainen and Sisko Tauriainen. (2014) Human parechovirus type 3 and 4 associated with severe infections in young children. Pediatr Infect Dis J 33:1109-1113

Westerhuis B, Kolehmainen P, Benschop K, Nurminen N, Koen G, Koskiniemi M, Simell O, Knip M, Hyöty H, Wolthers K, Tauriainen S. (2013) Human Parechovirus Seroprevalence in Finland and the Netherlands. J Clin Virol. 58:211-215

Anne J. Jääskeläinen, Pekka Kolehmainen, Hannimari Kallio-Kokko, Tea Nieminen, Marjaleena Koskiniemi, Sisko Tauriainen, Maija Lappalainen. (2013) First two cases of neonatal human parechovirus 4 infection with manifestation of suspected sepsis, Finland. J Clin Virol. 58:328-330

Jääskeläinen AJ, Kolehmainen P, Voutilainen L, Hauffe HC, Kallio-Kokko H, Lappalainen M, Tolf C, Lindberg AM, Henttonen H, Vaheri A, Tauriainen S, Vapalahti O. (2013) Evidence of ljungan virus specific antibodies in humans and rodents, Finland. J Med Virol. 2013 Nov;85(11):2001-8

Kolehmainen P, Koskiniemi M, Oikarinen S, Veijola R, Simell O, Ilonen J, Knip M, Hyöty H, Tauriainen S (2013) Human parechovirus and the risk of type 1 diabetes. J Med Virol. 85:1619-1623

P. Kolehmainen, S. Oikarinen, M. Koskiniemi, O. Simell, J. Ilonen, M. Knip, H. Hyöty, S. Tauriainen (2012) Human Parechoviruses are Frequently Detected in Sool from Healthy Finnish Children. J Clin Virol 54:156-61



Dr. Maija Lappalainen, Dr Anne Jääskeläinen, Dr. Hannimari Kallio-Kokko, HUSLAB
Dr. Merja Roivainen, Dr. Soile Blomqvist, THL
Dr. Merja Helminen, University Hospital of Tampere
Prof. Olli Vapalahti, Prof. Antti Vaheri, University of Helsinki
Dr. Petri Susi, University of Turku
Dr. Susanna Narkilahti, MSc Anu Hyysalo, University of Tampere

Dr. Katja Wolthers, Amsterdam Medical Center, Holland
Dr. Steve Oberste, CDC, USA
Dr. Jean-Luc Bailly, Univeriste d’Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France

DIPP study
TEDDY study