Parechovirus B

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Parechovirus B
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Order: Picornavirales
Family: Picornaviridae
Genus: Parechovirus
Species: Parechovirus B
  • Ljungan virus

Parechovirus B, more commonly called the Ljungan virus, was first discovered in the mid-1990s after being isolated from a bank vole near the Ljungan river in Medelpad county, Sweden.[1] It has since been established that the Ljungan virus, which is also found in several places in Europe and America, causes serious illness in wild as well as laboratory animals.[2][3][4][5] Several scientific articles have recently reported findings indicating that the Ljungan virus is associated with malformations, intrauterine fetal death, and sudden infant death in humans.[6][7][8][9] In addition, studies are being conducted worldwide to investigate the possible connection of the virus to diabetes, neurological and other illnesses in humans.

The Ljungan virus belongs to the Parechovirus genus of the Picornavirus family. Other members of this viral family include Polio virus, hepatitis A, and the viruses causing the common cold (rhino virus).[10] One of the earliest scientific discoveries regarding the Ljungan virus was that infected wild rodents developed diabetes if they were exposed to stress.[11] This has led to speculation that this disease may be the underlying cause of fluctuating rodent populations in Scandinavia; when rodents increase to high densities, they find it difficult to defend territory and obtain food, and then become more susceptible to predation. This stressful situation results in disease, death and population decline, leading to a pattern of cyclic variation in population size over time.[3]


  1. ^ Niklasson, B.; Hörnfeldt, Birger; Hörling, Jan; et al. (1999). "A new picornavirus isolated from bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus)". Virology. 255 (1): 86–93. doi:10.1006/viro.1998.9557. PMID 10049824. 
  2. ^ Main, A.J., R.E. Shope, and R.C. Wallis, (1976). "Characterization of Whitney's Clethrionomys gapperi virus isolates from Massachusetts". J Wildl Dis. 12 (2): 154–64. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-12.2.154. PMID 6801. 
  3. ^ a b Niklasson, B.; Feinstein, Ricardo E.; Samsioe, Annika; et al. (2006). "Diabetes and myocarditis in voles and lemmings at cyclic peak densities--induced by Ljungan virus?". Oecologia. 150 (1): 1–7. doi:10.1007/s00442-006-0493-1. PMID 16868760. 
  4. ^ Samsioe, A.; Saade, George; Sjöholm, Åke; et al. (2006). "Intrauterine death, fetal malformation, and delayed pregnancy in Ljungan virus-infected mice". Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 77 (4): 251–56. doi:10.1002/bdrb.20083. PMID 16894624. 
  5. ^ Salisbury, A. M.; Begon, M.; Dove, W.; Niklasson, B.; Stewart, J. P. (2013). "Ljungan virus is endemic in rodents in the UK". Archives of Virology. 159: 547–51. doi:10.1007/s00705-013-1731-6. PMID 23665770. 
  6. ^ Niklasson, B.; Schønecker, Bryan; Bildsøe, Mogens; et al. (2003). "Development of type 1 diabetes in wild bank voles associated with islet autoantibodies and the novel ljungan virus". Int J Exp Diabesity Res. 4 (1): 35–44. doi:10.1080/15438600303733. PMC 2480497Freely accessible. PMID 12745669. 
  7. ^ Niklasson, B.; Papadogiannakis, Nikos; Gustafsson, Susanne; et al. (2009). "Zoonotic Ljungan virus associated with central nervous system malformations in terminated pregnancy". Birth Defects Res a Clin Mol Teratol. 85 (6): 542–55. doi:10.1002/bdra.20568. PMID 19180651. 
  8. ^ Niklasson, B.; Hörnfeldt, Birger; Klitz, William (2009). "Sudden infant death syndrome and Ljungan virus". Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 5 (4): 274–9. doi:10.1007/s12024-009-9086-8. PMID 19408134. 
  9. ^ Niklasson, B., et al., (2007). "Association of zoonotic Ljungan virus with intrauterine fetal deaths.". Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 79 (6): 488–93. doi:10.1002/bdra.20359. PMID 17335057. 
  10. ^ Joki-Korpela, P.; T. Hyypia, (2001). "Parechoviruses, a novel group of human picornaviruses". Ann Med. 33 (7): 466–71. doi:10.3109/07853890109002095. PMID 11680794. 
  11. ^ Schoenecker, B., K.E. Heller, and T. Freimanis (2000). "Development of stereotypies and polydipsia in wild caught bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) and their laboratory-bred offspring. Is polydipsia a symptom of diabetes mellitus?". Appl Anim Behav Sci. 68 (4): 349–357. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(00)00108-8. PMID 10844158. 

External links[edit]

  • – This site intends to be a knowledge bank summarizing the increasing mass of information generated regarding the effects of Ljungan virus infection. It is financed and written by Apodemus AB.
  • Apodemus AB – Apodemus is the research company that discovered the Ljungan virus in the 1990s