Jonas Klingström group

Jonas Klingström

Hantaviruses can cause two severe acute zoonotic diseases; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia and hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in the Americas with high case-fatality rates. 

Vaccines and specific therapy is lacking. Further, infected patients show increased risks for heart attack and stroke during, and an increased risk for lymphoma after, the acute phase of infection. Altogether, this shows that hantaviruses affect human health in several different ways. In contrast to humans, natural hosts are asymptomatically infected - why hantaviruses cause disease in humans is unknown.

Our aim is to understand the mechanisms behind hantavirus pathogenesis and the acute and long-term consequences of hantavirus-infection. We focus on the capacity of hantaviruses to affect normal cell signaling and functions, especially cell death, immune and inflammatory responses. The ultimate goal is to generate a better understanding of the details of hantavirus-induced pathogenesis to aid in the development of specific treatment of patients.


Jonas Klingström, Associate Professor, PhD, Group leader

Shawon Gupta, PhD-student  

Carles Sola Riera, PhD-student 


Kimia Maleki, PhD-student   


Hantavirus-mediated inhibition of cell death; mechanisms and consequences

Hantaviruses have very strong anti-apoptotic effects. We are investigating in detail the mechanisms behind how hantaviruses protect infected cells from being killed by cytotoxic lymphocytes and via other apoptosis-inducing pathways. We further investigate the possible consequences of hantavirus-mediated inhibition of apoptosis on the function of infected cells.

Hantavirus-mediated deregulation of inflammatory responses

Understanding the mechanisms behind how hantaviruses cause hyperinflammation in HFRS/HPS-patients has the potential to reveal important insights into pathogenesis behind human hantavirus-infection. We investigate the effects hantaviruses have on Natural Killer cell, Dendritic cell and endothelial/epithelial cell functions and responses. This might also prove valuable for our understanding of other severe zoonotic emerging viral diseases, like other hemorrhagic fevers caused by e.g. Ebola and Dengue virus. 

Acute and long-term consequences of human hantavirus-infection 

We analyze immune responses and functions in Swedish HFRS-patients to characterize the impact hantavirus-infection has on our immune system. We also analyze the acute and long-term consequences of hantavirus-infection in Swedish HFRS-patients as compared to the Swedish total population to characterize the effects of human hantavirus-infection on the public health.

Selected publications

NK cell activation in human hantavirus infection explained by virus-induced IL-15/IL15Rα expression.
Braun M, Björkström N, Gupta S, Sundström K, Ahlm C, Klingström J, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2014 Nov;10(11):e1004521

Increased risk for lymphoma following hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
Klingström J, Granath F, Ekbom A, Björkström N, Ljunggren H
Clin. Infect. Dis. 2014 Oct;59(8):1130-2

Increased risk of acute myocardial infarction and stroke during hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome: a self-controlled case series study.
Connolly-Andersen A, Hammargren E, Whitaker H, Eliasson M, Holmgren L, Klingström J, et al
Circulation 2014 Mar;129(12):1295-302

Hantavirus-infection confers resistance to cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated apoptosis.
Gupta S, Braun M, Tischler N, Stoltz M, Sundström K, Björkström N, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2013 Mar;9(3):e1003272

Puumala virus infections associated with cardiovascular causes of death.
Connolly-Andersen A, Ahlm K, Ahlm C, Klingström J
Emerging Infect. Dis. 2013 Jan;19(1):126-8

A model system for in vitro studies of bank vole borne viruses.
Stoltz M, Sundström K, Hidmark , Tolf C, Vene S, Ahlm C, et al
PLoS ONE 2011 ;6(12):e28992

Rapid expansion and long-term persistence of elevated NK cell numbers in humans infected with hantavirus.
Björkström N, Lindgren T, Stoltz M, Fauriat C, Braun M, Evander M, et al
J. Exp. Med. 2011 Jan;208(1):13-21

Characterization of two substrains of Puumala virus that show phenotypes that are different from each other and from the original strain.
Sundström K, Stoltz M, Lagerqvist N, Lundkvist , Nemirov K, Klingström J
J. Virol. 2011 Feb;85(4):1747-56

Open positions

We always want to get in touch with talented and highly motivated potential co-workers interested in translational research aimed at understanding the mechanisms behind hantavirus-mediated pathogenesis. If you are interested in doing research within our group, please contact the group leader Jonas Klingström.

Infectious Disease Medicine