Roland Möllby Group

Project 1. Bacterial ecology and epidemiology

The project is aimed at developing methods for typing of bacteria and bacterial communities, and to use the achieved knowledge for ecological and epidemiological studies of bacteria and bacterial communities that are related to disease in humans and animals, as well as for studies on normal floras of healthy humans and animals. The project is also aimed at studying the relations between environmental bacteria and potential human and animal pathogens. Several lines of research are presently followed:

Epidemiology and ecology of enterococci

  • Ecology of the normal intestinal flora in humans and animals
  • Studies of the intestinal flora in relation to allergy
  • Spread of resistant bacteria and resistance genes in the society
  • Tracking of fecal pollution in surface water
  • Studies of diarrhoeal pathogens in Nicaragua
  • Epidemiology and ecology of Aeromonas in Bangladesh
  • Epidemiology and ecology of fish pathogenic bacteria

Studies of bacterial responses to environmental toxicants and other chemicals

Project 2. Bacterial virulence factors and relations to the host response

The group investigates occurrence of bacterial virulence factors and relations between them and the host response. We investigate Escherichia coli urinary tract infections and their immune response with special reference to adhering properties of the bacteria and the importance thereof. We also study the phenomenon of bacterial translocation in the intestine, i.e. the ability of certain E. coli strains to translocate from the intestine into lymphatic and blood vessels during serious conditions. We further investigate the production of virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus and the humoral response to these in deep S. aureus infections. An important outcome of such studies are the development of new immunotherapeutic agents, such as vaccines against urinary tract infections and antibodies against staphylococcal infections.

Examples of ongoing studies

  • Adhesion of P- and T1-fimbriated Escherichia coli to epithelial cells in the urinary tract.
  • Vaccination against T1-fimbriae of Escherichia coli in order to protect against cystitis.
  • Characterisation of in a rat model translocating strains of Escherichia coli (RTEC) and protection against translocation upon starvation.
  • Antibody response against fibrinogen binding proteins of Staphylococcus aureus during deep infections.
  • Production of a-toxin and of protein A in clinical strains of S. aureus.
  • Cross-talk between bacterial toxins and the intestinal epithelium



New Insights into the Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus Host Interaction Mechanisms.
Sánchez-Díaz A, Romero-Hernández B, Conde-Moreno E, Kwak Y, Zamora J, Colque-Navarro P, et al
PLoS ONE 2016 ;11(7):e0159159

Persistence of Lactobacilli in Postmenopausal Women - A Double-Blind, Randomized, Pilot Study.
Kwak Y, Daroczy K, Colque P, Kühn I, Möllby R, Kopp Kallner H
Gynecol. Obstet. Invest. 2016 Jul;():


Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance among Escherichia coli in wastewater in Stockholm during 1 year: does it reflect the resistance trends in the society?
Kwak Y, Colque P, Byfors S, Giske C, Möllby R, Kühn I
Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 2015 Jan;45(1):25-32


Increase of faecal tryptic activity relates to changes in the intestinal microbiome: analysis of Crohn's disease with a multidisciplinary platform.
Midtvedt T, Zabarovsky E, Norin E, Bark J, Gizatullin R, Kashuba V, et al
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(6):e66074


Antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli isolates from different aquatic environmental sources in León, Nicaragua.
Amaya E, Reyes D, Paniagua M, Calderón S, Rashid M, Colque P, et al
Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2012 Sep;18(9):E347-54

The Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin perturbs the barrier function in Caco-2 epithelial cell monolayers by altering junctional integrity.
Kwak Y, Vikström E, Magnusson K, Vécsey-Semjén B, Colque-Navarro P, Möllby R
Infect. Immun. 2012 May;80(5):1670-80


Antibiotic resistance patterns of intestinal Escherichia coli isolates from Nicaraguan children.
Amaya E, Reyes D, Vilchez S, Paniagua M, Möllby R, Nord C, et al
J. Med. Microbiol. 2011 Feb;60(Pt 2):216-22

Asymptomatic norovirus infections in Nicaraguan children and its association with viral properties and histo-blood group antigens.
Bucardo F, Nordgren J, Carlsson B, Kindberg E, Paniagua M, Möllby R, et al
Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 2010 Oct;29(10):934-9

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli markers and phenotypes among fecal E. coli isolates collected from Nicaraguan infants.
Reyes D, Vilchez S, Paniagua M, Colque-Navarro P, Weintraub A, Möllby R, et al
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2010 Sep;48(9):3395-6

Levels of antibody against 11 Staphylococcus aureus antigens in a healthy population.
Colque-Navarro P, Jacobsson G, Andersson R, Flock J, Möllby R
Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jul;17(7):1117-23

Antibody responses in patients with invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections.
Jacobsson G, Colque-Navarro P, Gustafsson E, Andersson R, Möllby R
Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2010 Jun;29(6):715-25

Biological relevance of natural alpha-toxin fragments from Staphylococcus aureus.
Kwak Y, Högbom M, Colque-Navarro P, Möllby R, Vécsey-Semjén B
J. Membr. Biol. 2010 Feb;233(1-3):93-103

Publications 1998-2009

Publications 2004-2009 (pdf)

Publications 1998-2002 (Pdf file, 78 Kb)

Group Members


Roland Möllby

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 871 75


Roland Möllby and Patricia Colque-Navarro Honoured by the Microbiology Department of UNAN-León 2011

30 years of successful SIDA supported collaboration in microbiology between MTC and the Microbiology Department of UNAN-León in Nicaragua has been recently commemorated. Roland Möllby and Patricia Colque-Navarro, coordinators for the last ten years, have each received a commemorative plaque from UNAN-León at the closing ceremony in León

UNAN-León-MTC Collaboration Information (Pdf file, 1 Mb)

30 Years Building - Developing Knowledge and Capabilities in Infectious Diseases 

A collaborative symposium was held on February 2-3 2011 between UNAN-LEÓN - Asdi/SAREC in Nicaragua and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden under the banner '30 Years Building - Developing Knowledge and Capabilities in Infectious Diseases'.


To present the knowledge and results of 30 years of scientific collaboration between Sweden and Nicaragua in the area of infectious illnesses and strengthen the sustainability in the region to face new challenges of emerging diseases using new diagnostic tools based on molecular biology.

To strengthen, to spread knowledge about epidemiological surveillance, on the mechanisms of pathogenicity of E. coli in diarrheal diseases, on the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine in endemic countries, all in the face of cholera in Latin America.

To strengthen the cooperative research on antibotic resistance, as well as on viral and parasitic infections relevant in Central America.


30 Years Building Symposium Program (Pdf file, 839 Kb)