Björn Andersson's Group

We study the biology of human pathogens, using mainly genomics and bioinformatics methods. The main projects aim to elucidate parasite-host interaction, drug resistance and diagnostics, as well as human virome content and clinical relevance.

A main early project of the laboratory was the Trypanosoma cruzi genome project. T. cruzi is a protozoan parasite that is the causative agent of Chagas disease, which is a severe infectious disorder that affects millions of people in South and Central America. We published the complete genome sequence in Science in 2005. We have since then carried out comparative genomics of different strains, epidemiology, RNA sequencing, proteomics and functional studies of potential new drug targets in this and other parasites, including the malaria parasite Plasmodium and Giardia lamblia, an intestinal parasite and an important human pathogen. Current projects include improved diagnostics of Chagas disease in Bolivia and studies of unique mechanisms of immune evasion in the parasite, as well as malaria drug resistance studies.

A second major project in the group is microbiome studies with the aim to study skin diseases and to characterize the human virome in health and disease. We have been active in this field since 2004, and we have published several large microbiome studies, as well as new human viruses and methods for virus identification. Current projects include virome studies in cancer and type 1 diabetes, large-scale TTV typing, metagenomic diagnostics, and follow-up studies of skin viruses.

Group Members

Selected Publications

Repeat-Driven Generation of Antigenic Diversity in a Major Human Pathogen, Trypanosoma cruzi.
Talavera-López C, Messenger LA, Lewis MD, Yeo M, Reis-Cunha JL, Matos GM, Bartholomeu DC, Calzada JE, Saldaña A, Ramírez JD, Guhl F, Ocaña-Mayorga S, Costales JA, Gorchakov R, Jones K, Nolan MS, Teixeira SMR, Carrasco HJ, Bottazzi ME, Hotez PJ, Murray KO, Grijalva MJ, Burleigh B, Grisard EC, Miles MA, Andersson B
Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2021 ;11():614665

Microbial and transcriptional differences elucidate atopic dermatitis heterogeneity across skin sites.
Ottman N, Barrientos-Somarribas M, Fyhrquist N, Alexander H, Wisgrill L, Olah P, Tsoka S, Greco D, Levi-Schaffer F, Soumelis V, Schröder JM, Kere J, Nestle FO, Barker J, Ranki A, Lauerma A, Homey B, Andersson B, Alenius H
Allergy 2021 04;76(4):1173-1187

Microbe-host interplay in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Fyhrquist N, Muirhead G, Prast-Nielsen S, Jeanmougin M, Olah P, Skoog T, Jules-Clement G, Feld M, Barrientos-Somarribas M, Sinkko H, van den Bogaard EH, Zeeuwen PLJM, Rikken G, Schalkwijk J, Niehues H, Däubener W, Eller SK, Alexander H, Pennino D, Suomela S, Tessas I, Lybeck E, Baran AM, Darban H, Gangwar RS, Gerstel U, Jahn K, Karisola P, Yan L, Hansmann B, Katayama S, Meller S, Bylesjö M, Hupé P, Levi-Schaffer F, Greco D, Ranki A, Schröder JM, Barker J, Kere J, Tsoka S, Lauerma A, Soumelis V, Nestle FO, Homey B, Andersson B, Alenius H
Nat Commun 2019 10;10(1):4703

Discovering viral genomes in human metagenomic data by predicting unknown protein families.
Barrientos-Somarribas M, Messina DN, Pou C, Lysholm F, Bjerkner A, Allander T, Andersson B, Sonnhammer ELL
Sci Rep 2018 01;8(1):28

Characterization of the viral microbiome in patients with severe lower respiratory tract infections, using metagenomic sequencing.
Lysholm F, Wetterbom A, Lindau C, Darban H, Bjerkner A, Fahlander K, et al
PLoS ONE 2012 ;7(2):e30875

The genome sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi, etiologic agent of Chagas disease.
El-Sayed NM, Myler PJ, Bartholomeu DC, Nilsson D, Aggarwal G, Tran AN, et al
Science 2005 Jul;309(5733):409-15

Cloning of a human parvovirus by molecular screening of respiratory tract samples.
Allander T, Tammi MT, Eriksson M, Bjerkner A, Tiveljung-Lindell A, Andersson B
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2005 Sep;102(36):12891-6