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Anna Nilsson

Anna Nilsson
I am a Postdoc in the honeybee research group with a focus on honeybee bacteria. I am also the assistant manager of the Swedish national reference laboratory of honeybee health.


Since 2019 I am part of the Honeybee Research Group at SLU where my main focus is on honeybee bacteria. I am both interested in the bacteria that causes diseases in honeybees (mainly Paenibacillus larvae and American Foulbrood) and the non-pathogenic bacteria that are a part of the honeybee microbiome. My research focus is to see how the microbiome is affected by different factors (e.g. bacterial pathogens) and how that affects the honeybee health and susceptibility to diseases.


I have a background in clinical microbiology and did my thesis on ”Characterisation of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli water isolates” at Uppsala University. Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in Sweden and EU, and is spread via undercooked chicken and water. My focus was on understanding how a bacteria that is considered to be so sensitive and demanding (needs special atmosphere, temperature and nutrients to survive and grow) can survive in water long enough to cause large disease outbreaks. I did this by whole genome sequence several isolates from natural waters in Sweden and did genome comparisons to find genes that could be important for survival and virulens. I also tested the survival of the bacteria in water and infected human cell lines to see how well they could infect and measured the expression of important virulens genes.

Selected publications

de Oliveira., Nilsson, A., Hyeyoung, K., Hallgren, G., Frössling, J., Kristiansen, L., Forsgren, E. (2021). Honey bee pathogens and parasites in Swedish apiaries: a baseline study. Journal of Apicultural Research. Published online: 13 Apr 2021

Johansson, C., Nilsson, A., Kaden, R., Rautelin, H. (2019). Differences in virulence gene expression between human blood and stool Campylobacter coli clade 1 ST828CC isolates. Gut Pathog. Aug 1;11:42.

Johansson, C., Nilsson, A., Kaden, R., Rautelin, H. (2019). Campylobacter coli Clade 3 Isolates Induce Rapid Cell Death In Vitro. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Feb 20;85(5): e02993-18.

Nilsson, A., Skarp, A., Johansson, C., Kaden, R., Engstrand, L., and Rautelin, H. (2018). Characterization of Swedish Campylobacter coli clade 2 and clade 3 water isolates. MicrobiologyOpen. Aug 1;7(4):e00583

Nilsson, A., Johansson, C., Skarp, A., Kaden, R., Bertilsson, S., Rautelin, H. (2018) Survival of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli water isolates in lake and well water. APMIS. Sep 1;126(9):762‐70.

Nilsson, A., Tervahartiala, T., Lennebratt, D., Lannergård, A., Sorsa, T., Rautelin, H. (2018). Enhanced

Systemic Response of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Regulators in Campylobacter and Salmonella Patients. Diagnostics. Dec 13;8(4):E82

Nilsson, A., Johansson, C., Skarp, A., Kaden, R., Engstrand, L., and Rautelin, H. (2017). Genomic and phenotypic characteristics of Swedish C. jejuni water isolates. PloS One 12, e0189222.

Ellström, P., Hansson, I., Nilsson, A., Rautelin, H., and Olsson Engvall, E. (2016). Lipooligosaccharide locus classes and putative virulence genes among chicken and human Campylobacter jejuni isolates. BMC Microbiol. 16, 116.

Wille, M., Muradrasoli, S., Nilsson, A., and Järhult, J.D. (2016). High Prevalence and Putative Lineage Maintenance of Avian Coronaviruses in Scandinavian Waterfowl. PloS One 11, e0150198.

Skarp, C.P.A., Akinrinade, O., Nilsson, A.J.E., Ellström, P., Myllykangas, S., and Rautelin, H. (2015). Comparative genomics and genome biology of invasive Campylobacter jejuni. Sci. Rep. 5, 17300.

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Postdoctor at the Department of Ecology; NJ, Agricultural Entomology Unit
Postal address:
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala