Katarina Westling group

The research is focused on epidemiology, long-term prognosis and co-morbidity in infective endocarditis. Pharmacokinetics, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular diagnostics in endocarditis are other ongoing projects.

Infective endocarditis, infection of heart valves, is a life-threatening condition that without antibiotic treatment has 100% mortality. Due to diagnostic improvements, antibiotic treatment and thoracic surgery in the acute phase, the all hospital mortality has fallen and is in Sweden around 10-15%. The left-sided endocarditis caused by Staphylococcus and prosthetic valve endocarditis (infection of an implanted heart valve), however, have a higher mortality.

The long-term mortality for infective endocarditis is poorly studied. Dosage and frequency of dosing of antibiotics is mainly based on empirical evidence and not on pharmacokinetic studies. Knowledge of the pharmacokinetics of drugs in endocarditis is limited.

The research is focused on epidemiology, long-term prognosis and co-morbidity in infective endocarditis. Pharmacokinetics, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular diagnostics in endocarditis are other ongoing projects.


Infective endocarditis, Molecular diagnostics, Pharmacokinetics, Long-term prognosis, Antibiotic susceptibility

Group leader

Katarina Westling

Group Leader, Associate Professor, MD PhD
08-585 819 78

Katarina is a senior consultant in infectious diseases at Dept of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska University Hospital. She has done a PhD at Karolinska Institutet in infective endocarditis and septicaemia, mainly viridians group streptococci, i. e. antibiotic susceptibility, molecular diagnostics and clinical aspects.

Katarina Westling group is an interdisciplinary group collaborating with colleagues from Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology Tumor and Cell biology, Medicine, Solna, Molecular medicine and surgery, Karolinska Institutet, and Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control, SMI.


Pharmacokinetic study:

We are monitoring blood levels of cloxacillin in patients with Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Antibiotic susceptibility patterns in blood culture isolates from patients with infective endocarditis, is there a trend towards increased resistance?

Long-term prognosis and co-morbidity in endocarditis- a nationwide database study

Selected publications

 A nationwide cohort study of mortality risk and long-term prognosis in infective endocarditis in Sweden.
Ternhag A, Cederström A, Törner A, Westling K
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(7):e67519

Long-term survival after operations for native and prosthetic valve endocarditis.
Edlin P, Westling K, Sartipy U
Ann. Thorac. Surg. 2013 May;95(5):1551-6

16S rDNA sequencing of valve tissue improves microbiological diagnosis in surgically treated patients with infective endocarditis.
Vondracek M, Sartipy U, Aufwerber E, Julander I, Lindblom D, Westling K
J. Infect. 2011 Jun;62(6):472-8

Pneumonia and bacteremia due to Kytococcus schroeteri.
Blennow O, Westling K, Fröding I, Ozenci V
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2012 Feb;50(2):522-4

Bartonella henselae antibodies after cat bite.
Westling K, Farra A, Jorup C, Nordenberg A, Settergren B, Hjelm E
Emerging Infect. Dis. 2008 Dec;14(12):1943-4

Identification of species of viridans group streptococci in clinical blood culture isolates by sequence analysis of the RNase P RNA gene, rnpB.
Westling K, Julander I, Ljungman P, Vondracek M, Wretlind B, Jalal S
J. Infect. 2008 Mar;56(3):204-10

Actinobacillus (Aggregatibacter) actinomycetemcomitans (HACEK) identified by PCR/16S rRNA sequence analysis from the heart valve in a patient with blood culture negative endocarditis.
Westling K, Vondracek M
Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 2008 ;40(11-12):981-3

In-hospital and long-term mortality in infective endocarditis in injecting drug users compared to non-drug users: a retrospective study of 192 episodes.
Thalme A, Westling K, Julander I
Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 2007 ;39(3):197-204

Swedish guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of infective endocarditis.
Westling K, Aufwerber E, Ekdahl C, Friman G, Gårdlund B, Julander I, et al
Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 2007 ;39(11-12):929-46

Viridans group streptococci in blood culture isolates in a Swedish university hospital: antibiotic susceptibility and identification of erythromycin resistance genes.
Westling K, Julander I, Ljungman P, Jalal S, Nord C, Wretlind B
Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 2006 Oct;28(4):292-6

Candida albicans tricuspid valve endocarditis in an intravenous drug addict: successful treatment with fluconazole.
Westling K, Thalme A, Julander I
Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 2005 ;37(4):310-1

Reduced susceptibility to penicillin of viridans group streptococci in the oral cavity of patients with haematological disease.
Westling K, Julander I, Ljungman P, Heimdahl A, Thalme A, Nord C
Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2004 Oct;10(10):899-903