Lars Engstrand


Lars Engstrand
Clinical Genomics facility
Karolinska Institutet

Research interests

The human microbiome is, in contrast to the human genome, easily changed through simple means such as healthful probiotic cultures, bacteriotherapy and other lifestyle interventions. Up to 20 percent of the small molecules in our bloodstream appear to be synthesized by microbes. The microbiome thus may provide some of the most important medical breakthroughs of our era e.g. the human microbiome may be as important to our health as the human genome.

Today, large-scale sequencing allows us to study the metagenome of different ecological niches in health and disease. We have concentrated on microbiota studies of the human gastro-intestinal tract that have provided information on bacteria prevailing in this region and how they are established during early childhood and might relate to disease development. We have access to biological material obtained in well-designed, prospective population-based endoscopy studies in this research field. Our aim in is to explore the gut microbiome in the healthy population and to create and analyse a large biobank of stool samples obtained in a Swedish colorectal cancer screening program. The project will certainly generate knowledge and increase our understanding of what makes up a healthy microbiome and which biomarkers are associated with disease outcome. We will then provide a map of the microbiota/microbiome in healthy individuals and compare this pattern to colon cancer patients, other GI-associated cancers, IBD and patients with metabolic diseases . Such microbial biomarkers will not only have a potential to diagnose and monitor diseases but also predict outcome of disease and study the treatment effects. Furthermore, we study genetic diversity in the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori and how this diversity contributes to the success of the bacteria as a pathogen and permitting adaptation to its human host in the context of the stomach microbiota.

Group members

Sebastian Pettersson, master student
Christian Campman, PhD-student
Adam Carstén, PhD-student
Hugo Wefer, bioinformatician
Linn Inganäs, technician
Akofa Mac-Kwashie, biomedical scientist
Helene Lilja, clinical collaborator
Lars Agreus, clinical collaborator
Hilpi Rautelin, clinical collaborator
Thomas Tängdén, clinical collaborator

Key publications

  • Jakobsson HE, Abrahamsson TR, Jenmalm MC, Harris K, Quince C, Jernberg C, Björkstén B, Engstrand L, Andersson AF Decreased gut microbiota diversity, delayed Bacteroidetes colonisation and reduced Th1 responses in infants delivered by Caesarean section. Gut. 2013 303249. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Abrahamsson TR, Jakobsson HE, Andersson AF, Bjorksten B, Engstrand L, Jenmalm MC. Low diversity of the gut microbiota in infants with atopic eczema. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2012;129:434-40.
  • Guy L, Jernberg C, Ivarsson S, Hedenström I, Engstrand L, Andersson SG. Genomic diversity of the 2011 European outbreaks of Escherichia coli O104:H4. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 26;109(52):E3627-8.
  • Zheng Z, Advani A, Melefors O, Glavas S, Nordstrom H, Ye W, Engstrand L, Andersson AF. Titration-free 454 sequencing using Y adapters. Nat Protoc 2011;6:1367-76.
  • Willing BP, Dicksved J, Halfvarson J, ANdersson AF, Lucio M, Zheng Z, Jarnerot G, Tysk C, Jansson JK, Engstrand L. A pyrosequencing study in twins shows that gastrointestinal microbial profiles vary with inflammatory bowel disease phenotypes. Gastroenterology 2010;139:1844-1854.

Contact

lars.engstrand@scilifelab.se

More contact information

http://ki.se/en/people/lareng