Pediatric Respiratory Medicine

Bronchiolitis (early childhood wheezing) is the most common cause for hospitalization in infants and young children and asthma is the most common chronic disease in school children in western countries. Early childhood wheezing is connected to asthma in later life, but the mechanisms are still unresolved. The risks of wheezing disorders at preschool age, and asthma and lung function disorders at school age, are  dependent on genetic factors, such as regulation of innate immunity and development of allergy, and on environmental factors, such as exposure to tobacco smoke and viral infections in early life.

Our research group studies applying the methods of clinical epidemiology the long-term outcome and early-life risk factors of bronchiolitis, innate immunity of  BCG vaccination  and respiratory syncytial virus infections, and in treatment of food allergy.

Group leader 

Professor Emeritus Matti Korppi

email: matti.korppi(at)tuni.fi

 

Research themes


Bronchiolitis

Globally, there are only four studies on long-term outcome of bronchiolitis until adulthood, and two of them have been done in Sweden and two in Finland. The main result in all studies has been very similar, the children seem to outgrow from their wheezing tendency at school age, but after puberty, wheezing and asthma symptoms will remit. The most important risk factors have been asthma in parents, food allergy in infants, exposure to tobacco smoke in pregnancy or infancy, and rhinovirus infection in early life.

The bronchiolitis cohort from Tampere has been followed-up since 2001, and follow-up data at 6-7 years of age are available, and a clinical study will be arranged in 2014-2015 to get follow-up data at 12-13 years of age. The focus of the coming follow-study is in the presence and risk factors of asthma and lung function disorders at late school age after early-life bronchiolitis. Our special interest is focused on the genetics of innate immunity, particularly on the genetics of interleukin-10 and toll-like-receptors. In addition, we are charting hospital treatment modalities and costs, and risks of intensive care in young children with wheezing.

Group leader

Professor Emeritus Matti Korppi, email: matti.korppi(at)tuni.fi

Group members

Docent Merja Helminen, email: merja.helminen(at)pshp.fi
MD, PhD Kirsi Nuolivirta, email: kirsi.nuolivirta(at)fimnet.fi
MD, PhD Marita Paassilta, email: marita.paassilta(at)pshp.fi
MD Petri Koponen, email: petri.koponen(at)tuni.fi
MD Eero Lauhkonen, email: eero.lauhkonen(at)tuni.fi
MD Sari Törmänen, email: sari.tormanen(at)tuni.fi
MD Minna Mecklin, email: minna.mecklin(at)tuni.fi

Collaborators

MD, PhD Qiushui He, email: qiushui.he(at)thl.fi
MD, PhD Jyri Toikka, email: jyri.toikka(at)utu.fi


RSV genetics

The two post-bronchiolitis cohorts from Kuopio have been followed-up until 18-19 and 27-28 years of age, respectively, the post-bronchiolitis cohort from Gothenburg until 17-18 years of age, and in 2014-2015, the post-bronchiolitis cohort from Tampere until 12-13 years of age. In addition, there is a large cohort of children with RSV infection in infancy, and a follow-up study will be arranged in 2014 at 12-13 years of age. Globally, the Finnish population is homogenous. All these cohorts have been well-studied in infancy, including viral studies, and the follow-up time is long. Therefore, the cohorts are optimal to study the genetics of RSV bronchiolitis and post-bronchiolitis.

Whole genome study including 700,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms has been done in the cohorts, and the analysis has started.

Group leader

Professor Emeritus  Matti Korppi, email: matti.korppi(at)tuni.fi

Group members

Professor Mika Rämet, email: mika.ramet(at)tuni.fi
Professor (em.) Mikko Hallman, email: mikko.hallman(at)oulu.fi
Docent Minna Karjalainen, email: minna.k.karjalainen(at)oulu.fi
MD, PhD Eija Piippo-Savolainen, email: eija.piippo-savolainen(at)kuh.fi
MD Marja Ruotsalainen, email: marja.ruotsalainen(at)kuh.fi
MSc Anu Pasanen, email: anu.pasanen(at)oulu.fi

Collaborators

Professor Göran Wennergren, email: goran.wennergren(at)edu.gt.se
MD, PhD Emma Goksör, email: emma.goksor(at)svregion.se


BCG and PNC vaccination

In 2006, Finland moved from universal BCG vaccinations to risk-group vaccinations as the last country in the western world. In 1960-1988, the diagnostics of BCG complications was centralized. We have collected health data and blood samples from former BCG osteitis patients, and measured the markers and genetics of innate immunity in blood samples. The analysis of this material has started. In addition, the exposure of children to tuberculosis, and latent and active tuberculosis in the exposed cases, have been monitored in the hospital district before and after the change from universal to risk-group vaccinations. Universal pneumococcal vaccinations were started in Finland in 2010, and we monitor actively the effects of the vaccination program in the area.

Group leader

Professor Emeritus Matti Korppi, email: matti.korppi(at)tuni.fi

Group members

Docent Merja Helminen, email: merja.helminen(at)pshp.fi
MD, PhD Risto Vuento, email: risto.vuento(at) pshp.fi
MD, PhD Liisa Kröger, email: liisa.kroger(at)kuh.fi
MD Laura Pöyhönen, email: laura.poyhone(at)tuni.fi
MS Henna Karppa, email: henna.karppa(at)tuni.fi

Collaborators

MD, PhD Jacinta Bustamante, email: jacinta.bustamante(at)necker.fr
MD, PhD Qiushui He, email: qiushui.he(at)thl.fi


Food allergy

The Allergy Program of Finland was established in 2008 with a purpose to lessen the examinations and treatments of mild allergy and pay attention to severe allergies. In agreement, we have studied the prevalence or food allergy in the pupils of elementary school before and after the implementation of the national program. In the university hospital, the treatment of food allergy has been rendered by starting oral immune therapy groups for school-aged children twice a year. The study group works in tight collaboration with the Allergy Unit of Tampere University Hospital.

Group leader

Professor Emeritus  Matti Korppi, email: matti.korppi(at)tuni.fi

Group members

Docent Jussi Karjalainen, email: jussi.karjalainen(at)pshp.fi
MD, PhD Marita Paassilta, email: marita.paassilta(at)pshp.fi
MD Susanna Salmivesi, email: susanna.salmivesi(at)pshp.fi
MD Pauliina Kallio, email: pauliina.kallio(at)tuni.fi
MS Johanna Järvenpää, email: johanna.jarvenpaa(at)tuni.fi

Collaborators

MD, PhD Tuire Sannisto, email: tuire.sannisto(at)tampere.fi
Docent Mika Mäkelä, email: mika.makela(at)hus.fi