The Section of Virology is pursuing research on viruses of veterinary and public health importance and has the following main research activities:
1) Applied and fundamental research on pathogenesis and viral-host interaction of viral infection, as well as on virological aspects of food safety.
2) Development of methods and applications of high-throughput sequencing technologies (HTS) and bioinformatics, such as searching for unknown and variants of known viruses in clinical samples. In addition, HTS is applied to investigate viral genetic variation and ecology.
Emerging viral diseases
One of our research interests is to study viral ecology in and around areas where emerging viruses may appear. We investigate wildlife reservoirs for yet unknown viruses, the possible involvement of vectors (midges, mosquitos, ticks) in the maintenance and spread of these viruses to domestic animals and to humans. We also study how these viruses interact with their different hosts, including with the vector, in order to identify novel ways to control the infections.
Transboundary viral diseases
Other projects evolve around transboundary animal diseases, in particular viruses of global importance such as Newcastle disease virus, avian influenza virus, peste-des-petits-ruminants virus and African swine fever virus. We are particularly interested in understanding their infection biology, ecology and the human involvement with the virus maintenance and spread.
Viral diseases of small animals
We also have a strong interest and tradition to study viruses of small animals and in particular FIP of cats. In the latter, we are using HTS to study various aspects on this mysterious viral disease. The overall goal is to better understand the viral genetics and host interaction of this lethal disease. Other viruses are also of interest, such as kennel cough, canine distemper virus and, the newly discovered feline morbillivirus.
Examples of current on-going projects
Insect-specific viruses as control measures for West Nile virus infection of animals and humans (Contact person Anne-Lie Blomström)
Understanding bunyavirus/mosquito interaction and host-range determinants (Contact person Anne-Lie Blomström)
The presence and role of small DNA viruses in pigs in health and disease (Contact person Anne-Lie Blomström)
Genetic characterization of DNA viruses (Adenoviruses and Parvoviruses) from Swedish pigs (contact person Harindranath Cholleti)
Host antiviral response studies against Porcine bocavirus infection (Contact person Harindranath Cholleti)
Metagenomic characterization of the virome of Swedish house crickets (Contact person Harindranath Cholleti)
Metagenomic profile analysis of viral diversities in ticks collected at wildlife-livestock interface in Mvomero district, Tanzania (Contact person Mikael Berg)
Coronaviruses and Rotaviruses in health and disease in ruminants and humans (Contact person Mikael Berg)
Neurotropic viruses in pigs: the role in congenital disease (Contact person Maja Malmberg)
Interdisciplinary approach addressing tick-borne diseases in Ugandan indigenous cattle (Contact person Maja Malmberg)
The viral microbiome of pollinating insects (Contact person Fredrik Granberg)
Genetic characterization of African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Italy (Contact person Fredrik Granberg)
Epidemiology and virus-host interactions of peste-des-petits-ruminants virus (Contact person Emeli Torsson)
For more details and additional projects see each individual members CV page
We have extensive national and international collaboration on viral diseases of production, companion and wild animals including zoonotic viruses. Examples of established collaborations are with the Uppsala University, National Veterinary Institute, Folkhälsomyndigheten, Makerere University of Uganda, University of São Paulo of Brazil, Eduardo Mondlane University of Mozambique, Sokoine University of Agriculture and University of Dar es-Salaam of Tanzania. We are also part of the Collaborating Centre of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) for the Biotechnology-based Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases in Veterinary Medicine.