Björn Andersson's Group

We focus on genomic analysis of parasites and viruses, with the aim to study parasite biology and to identify new drug targets and pathogens.

The genome analysis group was formed around a genome sequencing activity. A main early project 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 2005. We now carry out comparative genomics of different strains, epidemiology, RNA sequencing, proteomics and functional studies of potential new drug targets. The sequencing of new strains is performed using 454 and Illumina sequencing. We also study Diplomonad species, including strains of Giardia lamblia, an intestinal parasite and an important human pathogen. In both parasite projects, the main aim is to identify new drug targets, and to study parasite biology.

A second major project in the group is metagenomic sequencing with the aim to find new and to characterize known human viruses. Enrichment of virus particles and shotgun sequencing of human clinical samples has thus far resulted in the publication of two novel human viruses and these efforts are being scaled up to the level where the human virome can be sequenced. A large survey of viruse in the upper respiratory tract was recently published and we are involved in a large survey of the skin microbiome in psoriasis and eczema.

We are carrying out several bioinformatics projects to develop new methods, programs and databases for the analysis of genome sequences and large sequence data sets. These are used in our projects and also in collaborative projects, involving for example malaria and spruce genomics.

Group Members

Selected Publications

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

Draft genome sequencing of giardia intestinalis assemblage B isolate GS: is human giardiasis caused by two different species?
Franzén O, Jerlström-Hultqvist J, Castro E, Sherwood E, Ankarklev J, Reiner DS, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2009 Aug;5(8):e1000560

Human bocavirus and acute wheezing in children.
Allander T, Jartti T, Gupta S, Niesters HG, Lehtinen P, Osterback R, et al
Clin. Infect. Dis. 2007 Apr;44(7):904-10

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