Inflammation and immune regulation during infection – Team Christopher Sundling

Inflammation and immune regulation during infection

Our research focuses on understanding the interplay between different infectious diseases and the immune system. In order to study the immune response after infection we use state-of-the-art technology to investigate the immune system on a cellular, molecular, and genetic level. We then use bioinformatics to analyse the high-dimensional data and combine the results with clinical variables. By comparing several diseases, we can identify unique features associated with the individual pathogens, which in turn can be useful for developing novel diagnostic tests or pin-point potential targets for therapeutics. We also achieve an improved understanding of how the immune system responds to a given infection on a systems scale, which we then further investigate mechanistically.

Ongoing research

  • Defining the immune landscape after malaria and tuberculosis. In these projects, we use systems immunology approaches and mechanistic studies to investigate the interplay between different immune cell subsets, plasma proteins, and antibodies and how they affect the clinical presentation.
  • Role and regulation of atypical B cells. In this project, we investigate the origin, dynamics, heterogeneity, and function of CD11c and T-bet expressing B cells.
  • Immune tolerance in tuberculosis and malaria. In this project, we investigate how tolerance develops and is maintained in infected individuals.
  • Development of novel diagnostics tools. We have several projects where we use data-driven approaches to identify biomarkers that are associated with disease etiology, progression, severity, or treatment success. We also have projects where we, together with industry partners, work to improve current clinical diagnostic methods.


Selected publications

Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group



Tuberculosis (tolerance mechanisms and diagnostics)

  • Prof. Gunilla Källenius, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI.
  • Assoc. Prof. Susanna Brighenti, Center for Infectious Medicine, KI-Huddinge.
  • CSO Bartek Makower and CEO Niklas Ahlborg, Mabtech AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Prof. Martin Rottenberg, Dept. of MTC, KI and STINT Sweden-China Team.
  • Ass. Prof. Dhifaf Sarhan, Center for Infectious Medicine, KI, Sweden

Tropical fevers, including malaria

  • MD. PhD. Klara Sondén, KI and Karolinska University Hospital (KS).
  • Prof. Anna Färnert, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI and KS.


  • Prof. Anna Smed-Sörensen, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI.
  • Assoc. Prof. Judith Bruchfeld and others in UppCov consortium, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI/KS.

B cell immunology and tolerance

  • Assoc. Prof. Mattias Forsell, Umeå University, Sweden.
  • Prof. Petter Brodin, KI and SciLife lab, Sweden and UCL, UK.

HIV-1 immunology

  • Assoc. Prof. Annelie Tjernlund, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI, Sweden.
  • Prof. Kristina Broliden, Dept. of Medicine Solna, KI, Sweden.
  • Prof. Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam, Dept. of MTC, KI, Sweden.


Tuberculosis (tolerance mechanisms and diagnostics)

  • Prof. Margarida Correia-Neves, ICVS, Braga Portugal.
  • Prof. Delia Goletti, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Rome, Italy.
  • Dr. Celso Khosa, Instituto National Saude, Maputo, Mozambique.
  • ERASE-TB consortium: LMU Germany, LSHTM UK, BRTI Zimbabwe, NIMR-MMRC Tanzania, INS Mozambique.

Tuberculosis (B cells and antibodies)

  • Prof. Galit Alter, Ragon Institute at MGH, MIT, and Harvard Medical School, USA.
  • Prof. Daniel Pinschewer, University of Basel, Switzerland.
  • Dr. David Boyle and Dr. Jason Cantera, PATH, Geneva, Switzerland.

B cell selection

  • Prof. Robert Brink, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia.

Research support

  • The Swedish Research Council
  • The Heart-Lung Foundation
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • The Swedish Society of Medicine
  • Clas Groschinsky Foundation
  • Åke Wiberg Foundation