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Åsa Sjöling Group

Gastroenteric bacterial virulence regulation and transmission mechanisms

The gastrointestinal pathogens enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) Vibrio cholerae and Helicobacter pylori colonise the human intestine and stomach and are regarded as serious threats to global health. ETEC and V. cholerae cause severe diarrhoea by the secretion of toxins in the small intestine while H. pylori cause stomach epithelial inflammation that may lead to ulcers or stomach cancer. These pathogens are studied with respect to transmission mechanisms and virulence regulation during infection and dissemination using molecular methods. The aim of our research is to identify environmental factors that regulate virulence gene expression during infection and transmission in ETEC, H. pylori and V. cholera by quantitative prokaryotic gene expression analyses in situ using molecular methods such as qPCR and RNA-seq. We focus on virulence regulation but also survival factors with a special interest in survival and infectivity after prolonged exposure to water since ETEC and V. cholerae are water borne infections. A second project aims to determine the epidemiology of ETEC and to track individual clones of ETEC and H. pylori world-wide using multi locus sequence typing and whole genome sequencing. Since these pathogens are mainly a problem in low and middle-income countries the projects are performed in collaboration with scientists in Bangladesh, Bolivia, and Egypt. Projects are also performed in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, UK, Saudi Arabia and China. The ultimate goals are to identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate virulence with a main focus on ETEC, and to identify and determine the function of pathogenic virulence genes expressed during infection of the human stomach and intestine.

The Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR)

We collaborate with the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research at MTC

More information on the CTMR website

Latest Publications

The bile salt glycocholate induces global changes in gene and protein expression and activates virulence in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.
Joffre E, Nicklasson M, Álvarez-Carretero S, Xiao X, Sun L, Nookaew I, et al
Sci Rep 2019 Jan;9(1):108

In Situ Analyses Directly in Diarrheal Stool Reveal Large Variations in Bacterial Load and Active Toxin Expression of Enterotoxigenic Escherichiacoli and Vibrio cholerae.
Begum Y, Rydberg H, Thorell K, Kwak Y, Sun L, Joffré E, et al
mSphere ;3(1):

The Global Acetylome of the Human Pathogen Vibrio cholerae V52 Reveals Lysine Acetylation of Major Transcriptional Regulators.
Jers C, Ravikumar V, Lezyk M, Sultan A, Sjöling �, Wai S, et al
Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2017 ;7():537

Immune response profiling of primary monocytes and oral keratinocytes to different Tannerella forsythia strains and their cell surface mutants.
Bloch S, Zwicker S, Bostanci N, Sjöling �, Boström E, Belibasakis G, et al
Mol Oral Microbiol 2018 04;33(2):155-167

Identification and characterization of the novel colonization factor CS30 based on whole genome sequencing in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
von Mentzer A, Tobias J, Wiklund G, Nordqvist S, Aslett M, Dougan G, et al
Sci Rep 2017 10;7(1):12514

Alterations of c-di-GMP turnover proteins modulate semi-constitutive rdar biofilm formation in commensal and uropathogenic Escherichia coli.
Cimdins A, Simm R, Li F, Lüthje P, Thorell K, Sjöling �, et al
Microbiologyopen 2017 10;6(5):

In Vivo Analysis of the Viable Microbiota and Helicobacter pylori Transcriptome in Gastric Infection and Early Stages of Carcinogenesis.
Thorell K, Bengtsson-Palme J, Liu O, Palacios Gonzales R, Nookaew I, Rabeneck L, et al
Infect. Immun. 2017 10;85(10):

"It's a gut feeling" - Escherichia coli biofilm formation in the gastrointestinal tract environment.
Rossi E, Cimdins A, Lüthje P, Brauner A, Sjöling �, Landini P, et al
Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 2018 Feb;44(1):1-30

Proteomic analysis of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) in neutral and alkaline conditions.
Gonzales-Siles L, Karlsson R, Kenny D, Karlsson A, Sjöling �
BMC Microbiol. 2017 01;17(1):11

CD4 regulatory T cells in gastric cancer mucosa are proliferating and express high levels of IL-10 but little TGF-β.
Kindlund B, Sjöling �, Yakkala C, Adamsson J, Janzon A, Hansson L, et al
Gastric Cancer 2017 Jan;20(1):116-125

Comparative Analysis of Two Helicobacter pylori Strains using Genomics and Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics.
Karlsson R, Thorell K, Hosseini S, Kenny D, Sihlbom C, Sjöling �, et al
Front Microbiol 2016 ;7():1757

Complete Genome Sequences of Two Marine Vibrio cholerae Strains Isolated from the South Coast of Sweden.
Thorell K, Collin B, Hernroth B, Sjöling �
Genome Announc 2016 Oct;4(5):

Metaxa2 Diversity Tools: Easing microbial community analysis with Metaxa2
Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Kaisa Thorell, Christian Wurzbacher, Åsa Sjöling, R. Henrik Nilsson
Ecological Informatics 33:45-50 · May 2016

The LT1 and LT2 variants of the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) heat-labile toxin (LT) are associated with major ETEC lineages.
Joffré E, Sjöling �
Gut Microbes 2016 ;7(1):75-81

Identification of a Latin American-specific BabA adhesin variant through whole genome sequencing of Helicobacter pylori patient isolates from Nicaragua.
Thorell K, Hosseini S, Palacios Gonzáles R, Chaotham C, Graham D, Paszat L, et al
BMC Evol. Biol. 2016 Feb;16():53

Identification of new heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin allele variants produced by human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
Joffré E, von Mentzer A, Svennerholm A, Sjöling �
Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 2016 Nov;306(7):586-594

Stability of the Encoding Plasmids and Surface Expression of CS6 Differs in Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) Encoding Different Heat-Stable (ST) Enterotoxins (STh and STp).
Tobias J, Von Mentzer A, Loayza Frykberg P, Aslett M, Page A, Sjöling �, et al
PLoS ONE 2016 ;11(4):e0152899

CD4 regulatory T cells in gastric cancer mucosa are proliferating and express high levels of IL-10 but little TGF-β.
Kindlund B, Sjöling �, Yakkala C, Adamsson J, Janzon A, Hansson L, et al
Gastric Cancer 2017 Jan;20(1):116-125

The different ecological niches of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.
Gonzales-Siles L, Sjöling �
Environ. Microbiol. 2016 Mar;18(3):741-51

Human Mucosa-Associated Invariant T Cells Accumulate in Colon Adenocarcinomas but Produce Reduced Amounts of IFN-γ.
Sundström P, Ahlmanner F, Akéus P, Sundquist M, Alsén S, Yrlid U, et al
J. Immunol. 2015 Oct;195(7):3472-81

Draft genomes of four enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) clinical isolates from China and Bangladesh.
Liu F, Yang X, Wang Z, Nicklasson M, Qadri F, Yi Y, et al
Gut Pathog 2015 ;7():10

Implications of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli genomics for vaccine development.
Sjöling �, von Mentzer A, Svennerholm A
Expert Rev Vaccines 2015 Apr;14(4):551-60

Detection of major diarrheagenic bacterial pathogens by multiplex PCR panels.
Sjöling �, Sadeghipoorjahromi L, Novak D, Tobias J
Microbiol. Res. 2015 Mar;172():34-40

Allele variants of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin are globally transmitted and associated with colonization factors.
Joffré E, von Mentzer A, Abd El Ghany M, Oezguen N, Savidge T, Dougan G, et al
J. Bacteriol. 2015 Jan;197(2):392-403

Identification of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) clades with long-term global distribution.
von Mentzer A, Connor T, Wieler L, Semmler T, Iguchi A, Thomson N, et al
Nat. Genet. 2014 Dec;46(12):1321-6

Altered chemokine production and accumulation of regulatory T cells in intestinal adenomas of APC(Min/+) mice.
Akeus P, Langenes V, von Mentzer A, Yrlid U, Sjöling �, Saksena P, et al
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2014 Aug;63(8):807-19

Alkaline pH Is a signal for optimal production and secretion of the heat labile toxin, LT in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC).
Gonzales L, Ali Z, Nygren E, Wang Z, Karlsson S, Zhu B, et al
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(9):e74069

Expression of the chemokine decoy receptor D6 is decreased in colon adenocarcinomas.
Langenes V, Svensson H, Börjesson L, Gustavsson B, Bemark M, Sjöling �, et al
Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2013 Nov;62(11):1687-95

Prevalence, seasonality and severity of disease caused by pathogenic Escherichia coli in children with diarrhoea in Bolivia.
Gonzales L, Joffre E, Rivera R, Sjöling �, Svennerholm A, Iñiguez V
J. Med. Microbiol. 2013 Nov;62(Pt 11):1697-706

Serum IL-17A in newly diagnosed treatment-naive patients with ulcerative colitis reflects clinical disease severity and predicts the course of disease.
Ohman L, Dahlén R, Isaksson S, Sjöling A, Wick M, Sjövall H, et al
Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2013 Oct;19(11):2433-9

Molecular characterization of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates recovered from children with diarrhea during a 4-year period (2007 to 2010) in Bolivia.
Gonzales L, Sanchez S, Zambrana S, Iñiguez V, Wiklund G, Svennerholm A, et al
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2013 Apr;51(4):1219-25

Group Members

Patricia Colque-NavarroAssociated

Jessica Guzman OtazoGraduate Student


Young-Keun KwakSenior lab manager

070-090 89 54

Inger KühnAssociated

Jonatan Martin RodriguezPostdoc

Åsa SjölingSenior lecturer

Kaisa ThorellAssociated, Postdoc

Associated member : Kaisa Thorell