Virus infections impose a huge disease burden on humanity, from common colds to pandemic outbreaks, chronic virus infections, and cancer. Optimal identification of viral agents is therefore fundamental to many aspects of clinical medicine.
The group is based at the Department of Clinical Microbiology at Karolinska University Hospital, and the research is focused on improving diagnostic methods for viral infections. This includes exploration of viral diversity, identification of new viruses, and studying the relationship between newly discovered viruses and disease.
Our main interest is the application of metagenomic sequencing, both for direct diagnostic use and for studying viral populations in health and disease. We also develop new bioinformatic tools for describing viral diversity and searching for unknown agents. This is done in collaboration with Prof. Björn Andersson at the Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology, KI.
We have so far described two prevalent human viruses: Human bocavirus (HBoV-1) and KI polyomavirus (KIPyV). We have linked HBoV-1 to acute respiratory tract disease in children, and HBoV-1 tests are now routinely provided to health care around the world. Diagnostic and epidemiological studies of HBoV-1 and other respiratory viruses remains another important line of research of the group.