Åsa Sjöling Group

Gastroenteric bacterial virulence regulation and transmission mechanisms

The gastrointestinal pathogens enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) Vibrio cholerae and Helicobacter pylori colonise the human intestine and stomach and are regarded as serious threats to global health. ETEC and V. cholerae cause severe diarrhoea by the secretion of toxins in the small intestine while H. pylori cause stomach epithelial inflammation that may lead to ulcers or stomach cancer. These pathogens are studied with respect to transmission mechanisms and virulence regulation during infection and dissemination using molecular methods. The aim of our research is to identify environmental factors that regulate virulence gene expression during infection and transmission in ETEC, H. pylori and V. cholera by quantitative prokaryotic gene expression analyses in situ using molecular methods such as qPCR and RNA-seq. We focus on virulence regulation but also survival factors with a special interest in survival and infectivity after prolonged exposure to water since ETEC and V. cholerae are water borne infections. A second project aims to determine the epidemiology of ETEC and to track individual clones of ETEC and H. pylori world-wide using multi locus sequence typing and whole genome sequencing. Since these pathogens are mainly a problem in low and middle-income countries the projects are performed in collaboration with scientists in Bangladesh, Bolivia, and Egypt. Projects are also performed in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, UK, Saudi Arabia and China. The ultimate goals are to identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate virulence with a main focus on ETEC, and to identify and determine the function of pathogenic virulence genes expressed during infection of the human stomach and intestine.

The Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR)

We collaborate with the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research at MTC

More information on the CTMR website

Latest 10 Publications

Metaxa2 Diversity Tools: Easing microbial community analysis with Metaxa2
Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Kaisa Thorell,  Christian Wurzbacher, Åsa Sjöling,  R. Henrik Nilsson
Ecological Informatics 33:45-50 · May 2016

The LT1 and LT2 variants of the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) heat-labile toxin (LT) are associated with major ETEC lineages.
Joffré E, Sjöling
Gut Microbes 2016 ;7(1):75-81

Identification of a Latin American-specific BabA adhesin variant through whole genome sequencing of Helicobacter pylori patient isolates from Nicaragua.
Thorell K, Hosseini S, Palacios Gonzáles R, Chaotham C, Graham D, Paszat L, et al
BMC Evol. Biol. 2016 Feb;16():53

Identification of new heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin allele variants produced by human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
Joffré E, von Mentzer A, Svennerholm A, Sjöling
Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 2016 Jun;():

Stability of the Encoding Plasmids and Surface Expression of CS6 Differs in Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) Encoding Different Heat-Stable (ST) Enterotoxins (STh and STp).
Tobias J, Von Mentzer A, Loayza Frykberg P, Aslett M, Page A, Sjöling , et al
PLoS ONE 2016 ;11(4):e0152899

CD4(+) regulatory T cells in gastric cancer mucosa are proliferating and express high levels of IL-10 but little TGF-β.
Kindlund B, Sjöling , Yakkala C, Adamsson J, Janzon A, Hansson L, et al
Gastric Cancer 2016 Jan;():

The different ecological niches of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.
Gonzales-Siles L, Sjöling
Environ. Microbiol. 2016 Mar;18(3):741-51

Human Mucosa-Associated Invariant T Cells Accumulate in Colon Adenocarcinomas but Produce Reduced Amounts of IFN-γ.
Sundström P, Ahlmanner F, Akéus P, Sundquist M, Alsén S, Yrlid U, et al
J. Immunol. 2015 Oct;195(7):3472-81

Draft genomes of four enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) clinical isolates from China and Bangladesh.
Liu F, Yang X, Wang Z, Nicklasson M, Qadri F, Yi Y, et al
Gut Pathog 2015 ;7():10

Implications of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli genomics for vaccine development.
Sjöling , von Mentzer A, Svennerholm A
Expert Rev Vaccines 2015 Apr;14(4):551-60

Detection of major diarrheagenic bacterial pathogens by multiplex PCR panels.
Sjöling , Sadeghipoorjahromi L, Novak D, Tobias J
Microbiol. Res. 2015 Mar;172():34-40

Allele variants of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin are globally transmitted and associated with colonization factors.
Joffré E, von Mentzer A, Abd El Ghany M, Oezguen N, Savidge T, Dougan G, et al
J. Bacteriol. 2015 Jan;197(2):392-403

Identification of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) clades with long-term global distribution.
von Mentzer A, Connor T, Wieler L, Semmler T, Iguchi A, Thomson N, et al
Nat. Genet. 2014 Dec;46(12):1321-6

Altered chemokine production and accumulation of regulatory T cells in intestinal adenomas of APC(Min/+) mice.
Akeus P, Langenes V, von Mentzer A, Yrlid U, Sjöling , Saksena P, et al
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2014 Aug;63(8):807-19

Alkaline pH Is a signal for optimal production and secretion of the heat labile toxin, LT in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
Gonzales L, Ali Z, Nygren E, Wang Z, Karlsson S, Zhu B, et al
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(9):e74069

Expression of the chemokine decoy receptor D6 is decreased in colon adenocarcinomas.
Langenes V, Svensson H, Börjesson L, Gustavsson B, Bemark M, Sjöling , et al
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2013 Nov;62(11):1687-95

Prevalence, seasonality and severity of disease caused by pathogenic Escherichia coli in children with diarrhoea in Bolivia.
Gonzales L, Joffre E, Rivera R, Sjöling , Svennerholm A, Iñiguez V
J. Med. Microbiol. 2013 Nov;62(Pt 11):1697-706

Serum IL-17A in newly diagnosed treatment-naive patients with ulcerative colitis reflects clinical disease severity and predicts the course of disease.
Ohman L, Dahlén R, Isaksson S, Sjöling A, Wick M, Sjövall H, et al
Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2013 Oct;19(11):2433-9

Molecular characterization of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates recovered from children with diarrhea during a 4-year period (2007 to 2010) in Bolivia.
Gonzales L, Sanchez S, Zambrana S, Iñiguez V, Wiklund G, Svennerholm A, et al
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2013 Apr;51(4):1219-25

Group Members

Senior lecturer

Åsa Sjöling

Organizational unit: Åsa Sjöling group
E-mail: asa.sjoling@ki.se



Organizational unit: Åsa Sjöling group
E-mail: enrique.joffre@ki.se

Graduate Student

Jessica Guzman Otazo

Organizational unit: Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), C1
E-mail: jessica.guzman.otazo@ki.se


Kaisa Thorell

Organizational unit: Åsa Sjöling group
E-mail: kaisa.thorell@ki.se


Young-Keun Kwak

Organizational unit: Åsa Sjöling group
E-mail: Young-Keun.Kwak@ki.se

Senior lab manager

Lei Sun

Organizational unit: Åsa Sjöling group
E-mail: lei.sun@ki.se


Hanna Rydberg

Organizational unit: CTMR
E-mail: hanna.rydberg@ki.se

Inger KühnAssociated
Jessica Guzman OtazoGraduate Student
Kaisa ThorellPostdoc
Lei SunSenior lab manager
Olga ChuquimiaAssociated, Postdoc
Patricia Colque-NavarroAssociated
Young-Keun KwakAssociated
Åsa SjölingSenior lecturer