Magdalini Lourda team – Innate immune system in cancer, inflammation and infection

Our team studies the role of the innate immune system in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in children and adults, with focus on Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease and COVID-19.

The Magdalini Lourda team is connected to the Anna Norrby-Teglund and Mattias Svensson research groups at the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM).

The team's focus

In our team, we integrate various advanced experimental approaches to identify disease-specific subpopulations of granulocytes in blood and tissues of patients and understand how the granulocytes interact with other immune and stroma cells contributing to disease pathology.

Granulocytes constitute the first line of defense against pathogens and their role was long considered to be restricted to the initial, acute phase of the inflammatory responses. Although inflammation is necessary to confer protection to the host from exogenous pathogens and initiate repair mechanisms of the damaged tissue, granulocytes can also generate enormous collateral damage in the process of pathogen elimination, which may lead to chronic pathologies. Despite their importance in modulating adaptive immune responses, the specific phenotype and function of granulocyte subpopulations in different human tissues and diseases is not well understood.

Magdalini Lourda about the research

Magdalini L interviewed in "Forskning och Framsteg" about blood samples predicting covid-19 (in Swedish)

Magdalini L interviewed at about how Innate immune response may predict COVID-19 severity

Team leader

Magdalini Lourda

PhD, Senior Researcher

Magdalini completed her PhD in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) and then moved to Sweden to work as a post-doc at the Center for Infectious Medicine, in collaboration with the Department of Women’s and Children’s health, KI.

During her post-doc, she studied the involvement of myeloid cells in the pathogenesis of granuloma diseases, such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and Crohn’s disease. Her research resulted in the identification of several disease-associated deregulated molecular and cellular processes and contributed to new tools for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients with LCH.

Magdalini became an Assistant Professor in 2015.

Team members

Avinash Padhi

PhD, Postdoc

Avinash obtained his PhD from Kalinga University (India) in 2019 on host pathogen interaction in tuberculosis, focusing primarily on macrophages. He then moved to Sweden to pursue post-doctoral training, studying the role of neutrophils and keratinocytes in skin inflammation.

Previous team members

Mira Akber, MSc, research trainee/research assistant (October 2019-February 2020). Research on the role of myeloid cells in the pathogenesis of LCH and psoriasis.

Supervision of PhD students who defended their thesis (Co-supervisor)

Egle Kvedaraite, MD. Human myeloid cells in cancer, inflammation and infection (Defence: January 2022)

Akhirunnesa Mily, MSc, PhD. Immunopathogenesis in pulmonary tuberculosis: Impact of immunomodulation and diabetes comorbidity (Defence: March 2021)

Current supervision of PhD students (Co-supervisor)

Marco Giulio Loretti, MSc. Modulation of protective immunity in human tuberculosis.

Nikolaos Tsesmetzis, MSc. Translational studies on antimetabolic therapies in paediatric oncology.

Open positions

We always want to get in touch with talented potential co-workers. If you are interested in doing research in our team, either as a student or post-doc, please contact the Team leader:

Current projects

Elucidating the immunopathogenic mechanisms behind the development of Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Granulocyte phenotype and function in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases (eg COVID-19, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease)

Main collaborators

Karolinska Institutet

  • Daniel Hagey, Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Samir El Andaloussi, Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Ujjwal Neogi, Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Susanna Brighenti, Center for Infectious Medicine

Karolinska Institutet and others

  • Jan-Inge Henter, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  • Josefin Lysell, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  • Petter Höglund, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  • Liv Eidsmo, KI and LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center, Copenhagen

Research Support

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund

Dr Åke Olsson foundation for haematological research

Karolinska Institutet

Fredrik O Ingrid Thurings foundation

Märta and Gunnar V Philipsons foundation

Selected publications


Response to mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition of neurodegeneration in Langerhans cell histiocytosis monitored by cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light as a biomarker: a pilot study

Henter JI, Kvedaraite E, Martín Muñoz D, Cheng Munthe-kaas M, Zeller B, Nystad Ta, Björklund C, Donnér I, Lourda M, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Herold N, Gavhed D, Von Bahr Greenwood T. Br J Haematol. 2022;196(1):248-254

COVID-19-specific metabolic imprint yields insights into multiorgan system perturbations

Cornillet M, Strunz B, Rooyackers O, Ponzetta A, Chen P, Muvva JR, Akber M, Buggert M, Chambers Bj, Dzidic M, Filipovic I, Gorin JB, Gredmark-Russ S, Hertwig L, Klingström J, Kokkinou E, Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Mjösberg J, Maucourant C, Norrby-Teglund A, Parrot T, Perez-Potti A, Rivera-Ballesteros O, Sandberg JK, Sandberg JT, Sekine T, Svensson M, Varnaite R, Eriksson LI, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Björkström NK, Karolinska KI/K Covid-19 Study Group. Eur J Immunol. 2021 Nov 26. doi: 10.1002/eji.202149626. Online ahead of print.

Discriminatory plasma biomarkers predict specific clinical phenotypes of necrotizing soft-tissue infections

Palma Medina LM, Rath E, Jahagirdar S, Bruun T, Madsen MB, Strålin K, Unge C, Hansen MB, Arnell P, Nekludov M, Hyldegaard O, Lourda M, dos Santos VAPM, Saccenti E, Skrede S, Svensson M, Norrby-Teglund A. J Clin Invest. 2021;131(14): e149523

High-dimensional profiling reveals phenotypic heterogeneity and disease-specific alterations of granulocytes in COVID-19

Lourda M, Dzidic M, Hertwig L, Bergsten H, Palma Medina LM, Kvedaraite E, Chen P, Muvva JR, Gorin JB, Cornillet M, Emgård J, Moll K, García M, Maleki KT, Klingström J, Michaëlsson J, Flodström-Tullberg M, Brighenti S, Buggert M, Mjösberg J, Malmberg KJ, Sandberg JK, Henter JI, Folkesson E, Gredmark-Russ S, Sönnerborg A, Eriksson LI, Rooyackers O, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Björkström NK, Svensson M, Ponzetta A, Norrby-Teglund A, Chambers BJ, the Karolinska KI/K COVID-19 Study Group. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021; 118(40):e2109123118

Major alterations in the mononuclear phagocyte landscape associated with COVID-19 severity

Kvedaraite E, Hertwig L, Sinha I, Ponzetta A, Hed Myrberg I, Lourda M, Dzidic M, Akber M, Klingström J, Folkesson E, Muvva JR, Chen P, Gredmark-Russ S, Brighenti S, Norrby-Teglund A, Eriksson LI, Rooyackers O, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Ginhoux F, Björkström NK, Henter JI, Svensson M; Karolinska KI/K COVID-19 Study Group. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021; 118(6):e2018587118

Patients with both Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Crohn's disease highlight a common role of interleukin-23

Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Han H, Tesi B, Mitchell J, Ideström M, Mouratidou N, Rassidakis G, von Bahr Greenwood T, Cohen-Aubart F, Jädersten M, Åkefeldt SO, Svensson M, Kannourakis G, Bryceson YT, Haroche J, Henter JI. Acta Paediatr. 2021; 110(4):1315-1321

High levels of plasma interleukin-17A are associated with severe neurological sequelae in Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Ismail MB, Åkefeldt SO, Lourda M, Gavhed D, Aricò M, Henter J-I, Delprat C, Valentin H. Cytokine 2020; 126:154877

High prevalence of peripheral lymphopenia in Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Lourda M, Widesköld S, Kvedaraite E, Gavhed D, Akber M, von Bahr Greenwood T, Svensson M, Olsson-Åkefeldt S, Henter JI. Br J Haematol. 2020; 191(1):115-119


Unique transcriptional and protein-expression signature in human lung tissue-resident NK cells

Marquardt N, Kekäläinen E, Chen P, Lourda M, Wilson JN, Scharenberg M, Mold JE, Hård J, Bergman P, Al-Ameri M, Orre A-C, Ljunggren H-G, Michaëlsson J. Nat Commun 2019; 10:3841

Adsorptive depletion of blood monocytes reduces the levels of circulating interleukin-17A in Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Lourda M,Åkefeldt SO, Gavhed D, Nygell UA, Berlin G, Laurencikas E, von Bahr Greenwood T, Svensson M, Henter J-I. Blood 2016;128(9):1302-5

The presence of CXCR4(+) CD1a(+) cells at onset of Langerhans cell histiocytosis is associated with a less favorable outcome

Quispel WT, Stegehuis-Kamp JA, Blijleven LL, Santos SJ, Lourda M, van den Bos C, van Halteren AGS, Egeler RM. Oncoimmunology 2016;5(3):e1084463

Tissue-infiltrating neutrophils represent the main source of IL-23 in the colon of patients with IBD

Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Ideström M, Chen P, Åkefeldt SO, Forkel M, Gavhed D, Lindforss U, Mjösberg J, Henter J-I, Svensson M. Gut 2016;65(10):1632-41

Detection of IL-17A-producing peripheral blood monocytes in Langerhans cell histiocytosis patients

Lourda M, Åkefeldt SO, Gavhed D, Björnfot S, Clausen N, Hjalmars U, Sabel M, Tazi A, Aricò M, Delprat C, Henter J-I, Svensson M. Clin Immun 2014; 153:112-22

Available as preprint

Multiomics personalized network analyses highlight progressive immune disruption of central metabolism associated with COVID-19 severity.

Ambikan AT, Yang H, Krishnan S, Svensson-Akusjärvi S, Gupta S, Lourda M, Sperk M, Arif M, Zhang C, Nordqvist H, Ponnan SM, Sönnerborg A, Treutiger CJ, O’Mahony L, Mardinoglu A, Benfeitas R, Neogi U. SSRN. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3988390

Complete publication list

For a complete list, please visit Magdalini Lourda's KI profile