Puumala Orthohantavirus causes Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), in Sweden known as “Sorkfeber”. The disease is characterized by low platelets and decreased kidney function. Patients can have a wide range of symptoms from influenza-like symptoms with headaches, nausea and vomiting to back ache and myalgia.
My research interest is focused on the cardiovascular complications following HFRS and the underlying mechanisms thereof. We previously showed that HFRS is a risk factor for acute myocardial infarction, stroke and venous thromboembolism. These studies were performed using epidemiological analysis of all patients diagnosed with HFRS in Sweden.
In my group we are currently investigating the underlying mechanisms of thrombosis and bleeding that can occur during HFRS. For this we are particularly interested in the endothelial cell response, and the part that is called the endothelial glycocalyx. The endothelial glycocalyx regulates the inflammatory response, thrombosis and vascular leakage and its role in pathogenesis in a multitude of other diseases such as coronary atherosclerosis, diabetes, sepsis and even other viral hemorrhagic fevers has been shown.
We previously showed that the level of endothelial glycocalyx degradation markers was increased in patients with a more severe form of HFRS. Therefore, our aim is to discern underlying mechanisms of endothelial glycocalyx degradation and identify potential targets of intervention.