Dr. K.C. Wolthers MD PhD

Associate professor (UHD)
Main activities
Research, Patient care
Medical Microbiology/virology
Focus of research

Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of human parechoviruses and enteroviruses

Key publications
  • van der Sanden SMG, Sachs N, Koekkoek SM, Koen G, Pajkrt D, Clevers H, Wolthers KC, Enterovirus 71 infection of human airway organoids reveals VP1-145 as a viral infectivity determinant. EMERG MICROBES INFEC 2018;7 (1):84 [PubMed]
  • Karelehto E, Cristella C, Yu X, Sridhar A, Hulsdouw R, de Haan K, van Eijk H, Koekkoek S, Pajkrt D, de Jong MD, Wolthers KC, Polarized Entry of Human Parechoviruses in the Airway Epithelium. FRONT CELL INFECT MI 2018;8:294 [PubMed]
  • van der Sanden SMG, Koen G, van Eijk H, Koekkoek SM, de Jong MD, Wolthers KC, Prediction of Protection against Asian Enterovirus 71 Outbreak Strains by Cross-neutralizing Capacity of Serum from Dutch Donors, The Netherlands. EMERG INFECT DIS 2016;22 (9):1562-1569 [PubMed]
  • Shakeel S, Westerhuis BM, Domanska A, Koning RI, Matadeen R, Koster AJ, Bakker AQ, Beaumont T, Wolthers KC, Butcher SJ, Multiple capsid-stabilizing interactions revealed in a high-resolution structure of an emerging picornavirus causing neonatal sepsis. NAT COMMUN 2016;7:11387 [PubMed]
  • van der Linden L, Bruning AHL, Thomas XV, Minnaar RP, Rebers SPH, Schinkel J, de Jong MD, Pajkrt D, Wolthers KC, A molecular epidemiological perspective of rhinovirus types circulating in Amsterdam from 2007 to 2012. CLIN MICROBIOL INFEC 2016;22 (12):1002.e9-1002.e14 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Amsterdam UMC, location AMC:

2019-2022        (co) coordinator H2020 Marie Curie ITN consortium Organovir (

2014-2018        Coordinator FP7 Marie Curie Industry Academic Partnership and Pathways consortium "AIROPIco" (Antiviral research, Vol 161, Jan 2019

2003-present    Staff member Clinical Virologist at Dept Medical Microbiology, AMC


Other activities

2018            Organization and co-chairing First Amsterdam Organoid Symposium (location AMC, Amsterdam, Dec 6 2018)

2018            Participant Innovation Network Transition to Animal Free Innovations TPI ( (invited)

2016-2018   Organizing Committee EUROPIC 2018, the 20th International Picornavirus meeting, Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands, June 3-8 2018,               

2017-present   Invited member of Picornaviridae Study Group of International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses 

2017-present   Work package Leader European Network of Non-Polio Enteroviruses (ENPEN)

2017-present Member Royal Dutch Society of Microbiology (KNVM) section Virology (

2017          Organization and co-chairing session “Human 3D Cell Culture Models for Virus Research” at the Scientific Spring Meeting KNVM & NVMM (Dutch Society of Medical Microbiology), Papendal, April 2017

2015          Workshop on Human 3D Cell Culture Models for Virus Research; AIROPico in collaboration with ESCV. Amsterdam, Oct 2015

2014         Organization and co-chairing session “Developments in antiviral therapy and antiviral resistance”at the Scientific Spring Meeting KNVM & NVMM (Dutch Society of Medical Microbiology), Papendal, April 2014

2014-2020 Invited Scientific Committee member for EUROPIC conferences 2014 and 2016 (revision abstacts and chairing)

• Review Editor for the Journal of Clinical Virology 2008- present
• Board member Antibiotics Committee AMC, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, 2010 – 2014
• Board member Dutch Society for Clinical Virology, 2010 – 2014
• Board member National Quality Control Committee for Medical Microbiological Laboratories (SKML) division Cell Culture, 2010-2017
• Review Editor for the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Virology 2010- present
*Member Subcommittee Medical and Veterinary Aspects of COGEM (Commissie genetische Modificatie) 2013- 2016



1998-2003 Medical Microbiology/Virology training at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Laboratory of Virology, Head Prof A. Osterhaus

1993-1998 PhD research 'T cell function and T cell dynamics in HIV-1 infection.' Central Laboratory of the Blood Transfusion Service (Sanquin). Promotor Prof. F. Miedema

1992-1993 Glaxo Fellowship, New England Medical Center, Boston (Prof. Dr. H.A. Büller/ Prof. Dr. R.A Grand)

1984-1993 Medical School University of Groningen (1984-1989) and University of Amsterdam (1989-1993)

Research programmes

Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of human picornaviruses

Our clinical laboratory is specialized in fast and reliable laboratory diagnosis for entero- rhino- and parechovirus infections, all members of the Picornavirus family. We use virus genotyping to show the widespreadness of the different virus genoypes and their relation with clinical symptoms. We have expertise in molecular evolution studies. My research established the role of human parechoviruses (HPeVs) as serious and frequently occurring pathogens in young infants, and two new types HPeV4 and HPeV14 were discovered. We defined classification rules for HPeVs in good agreement with the Picornavirus Studygroup; nowadays, 19 types are known. We were the first to show significant differences in clinical symptoms and age of infection between HPeV3 and HPeV1, and the importance of HPeV3 in viral CNS infections.

My research focuses on pathogenesis of human picornaviruses. The role of maternal antibody protection in picornavirus infection in neonates is studied, as well as differences in cell tropism between picornavirus types in relation to disease severity. Furthermore we focus on treatment possibilities and resistance mechanisms. My group has extensive expertise in virus culture and human 3D cell culture models, such as human airway epithelium (HAE) cultures and gut organoids, which are used to study picornavirus pathogenesis.  

I am (co) coordinator of the Marie Curie ITN consortium Organovir, a trainingsnetwork on Organoids for Virology ( The coming years we will extend our expertise with 3D models and organoids such as human brain and skin for virus research. 


Dr. K.C. Wolthers MD PhD
D. Pajkrt MD PhD

K.S.M. Benschop PhD
Dr. L. van der Linden PhD
Dr. S.M.G. van der Sanden PhD
A. Sridhar MSc PhD
X. Thomas PhD
Drs. B.M. Westerhuis

PhD Students
I. Aknouch
L. Brouwer
J.A. Depla MSc

D. de Blauw BSc
L. Bosch BSc
H.W.M. van Eijk
G. Koen
Dr. E.A. Koppel PhD
R. Minnaar BSc
Drs. A. Reitsma
R. Venkatachalam PhD

D. Pajkrt MD PhD (Pediatric viral infections, focus on hiv and picornavirus infection)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Europese Unie
  • ZonMw