A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå

[2018-06-21] Scientists affiliated with MIMS and UCMR describe their findings about a new toxin and its secretion mechanism from the major bacterial pathogen Vibrio cholerae in a recent publication in the journal Communications Biology (7 June 2018).

Dongre et al 2018 Communications Biology 3
The bacterium Vibrio cholerae was discovered more than 150 years ago but remains as one of the main causes of bacterial infectious disease globally, especially in low-income nations where it occurs endemic, and outbreaks of cholera disease can lead to major epidemics.

In addition to causing cholera disease characterized by very severe watery diarrhea, different variants of V. cholerae can cause, for example, wound infections and infections in the ear canal (ear inflammation). If the infection is reaching the bloodstream, it can lead to blood poisoning. Such variants of Vibrio bacteria are common in brackish water, but can be found both in freshwater and saltwater and are also present in such environments in our country.

Scientists from Umeå University have now discovered and characterised the structure and function of a so far unknown Vibrio toxin. A team led by Professor Sun Nyunt Wai at Department of Molecular Biology and MIMS used the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a predatory host for the bacteria and identified by molecular genetic analysis the V. cholerae genes required for production and release of the new protein toxin, now called MakA.

Read more: A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå

World Antibiotics Awareness Week, 13-19 November 2017

AMR Stamp 2WHO campaign 2017: Antibiotics: Handle with care

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy-makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Researchers (ca 50 research groups) at MIMS and UCMR work on the understanding of molecular mechanisms of microbial infections. The knowledge could be used to develop new antimicrobial strategies for future treatment of infections and to avoid antibotic resistance.

More information on the WHO's Campaign website "World Antibiotic Awareness Week", 13-19 November 2017

MIMS Deputy Director Maria Fällman will give a popular science lecture in Swedish language in the series of popular science lectures "lärande luncher" organised by the Norrland University Hospital.
Title: "Nya vapen mot seglivade bakterier"

Place: Frälsningsarméen, Umeå, Kungsgatan 47, 90326 Umeå
Date: 14 November, 12:15

Lessons from bacteria: Novel antimicrobial strategies based on interspecies metabolic cooperation

20171017 Aliashkevich Cava Alvarez 562 2MIMS- scientist publish in the high-impact Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology, ISME.

An important survival strategy in bacteria is the release of toxic substances, which can attack and kill cells and other bacteria. One of these substances are D-amino acids, which are secreted to the environment at high concentrations by very diverse bacteria. D-amino acids interfere with the growth of neighboring competitors thereby improving the chances of producer species to colonize an specific niche. Felipe Cava's research group at The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) studied the biological effects caused by distinct D-amino acids released by the causative agent of cholera, Vibrio cholerae. The study was performed in collaboration with Miguel A de Pedro, a former visiting professor at Umeå University and investigator at the Centro de Biología Molecular ‘Severo Ochoa’, CSIC in Madrid, Spain.

The scientists found that D-Arginine is a very potent and very broad growth inhibitor of many diverse bacterial species, including pathogenic ones such as Burkholderias, well known for their implication in pulmonary infections and their broad antibiotic resistance.

"We found that D-Arginine is a key environmental factor that controls both fitness and survival of bacterial subpopulations and therefore can modulate the existing biodiversity within an ecological niche" explains Laura Alvarez, postdoctoral researcher who conducted the study.

Alvarez and colleagues found, too, that although all the members of the Vibrionaceae family were resistant to D-arginine, not all of them produce this effector. This behavior suggests that a few vibrios may have evolved to help members of the family in an altruistic cooperation to facilitate prevalence of the entire vibrio in a particular ambient.

Read more: Lessons from bacteria: Novel antimicrobial strategies based on interspecies metabolic cooperation

MIMS Clinical Research Fellows Programme - new recruitments

MIMS is looking for research-interested physicians in infectious medicine to join the MIMS Clinical Research Fellows Programme.
The Laboratory of Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) and Umeå Center for Microbial Research (UCMR) at Umeå University, are strong research areas, which are with the support of the Swedish Research Council (VR) strengthening career development in the microbiological and infection research field. Researchers at MIMS-UCMR combine strong research in molecular infection biology with, e.g. chemical biology or structural biology research to study molecular mechanisms of infections.

In order to further strengthen the link between clinical research on a national level, MIMS has initiated the Clinical Research Fellows (MIMS-CRF) programme http://www.mims.umu.se/clinical-research-fellows/about-mims-crf.html) that offers research resources to clinically active doctors.

We are now looking for research-interested physicians.

play Read the complete announcement in Swedish, here

Exploring the Complexity of Life by Cryo-Electronmicroscopy

[2017-02-01] Major technical advances has enabled cryo-EM to become a mainstream technique in visualization of macromolecules, which provides the most definitive way to describe their mechanisms of action. The first international cryo-EM symposium in Sweden will take place in Stockholm and Umeå, and present the developments that are shaping this scientific breakthrough. Topics covered include central discoveries in cryo-EM, the most recent methodological developments and applications to central biological questions.

Note: the 1st day of the Symposium takes place on 8th of May 2017 at SciLifeLab, Stockholm.

Everybody is welcome!

Registration form to the Umeå Symposium 9th May 2017

Read more: Exploring the Complexity of Life by Cryo-Electronmicroscopy

Infection Research to Meet Current and Future Challenges

J17 kaw 100ubilee symposium to celebrate Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation's 100 years anniversary

To celebrate 100 years in support of excellent Swedish research and education, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation arranges, in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish universities, a series of symposia in areas where the Foundation has provided substantial financial support throughout the years.

The six symposia have different focus and are organised in Lund (4 April), Umeå (June 19), Linköping (13 September), Stockholm (15 September), Uppsala (21 September), and Gothenburg (28 September).

The symposium in Umeå "Infection Research to Meet current and Future Challenges" will take place on:

19 June 2017, 08.45 - 17.20

Aula Nordica, Umeå (->map)


Read more on the website of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences


Group picture UREM 2017 1More than 140 scientists started the new year with the UCMR DAY 2017, on 12th of January. In lively discussions the microbiologists spent the day not only with talks but also with mingling at the posters, during coffee and lunch breaks, updating themselves and guests about ongoing research projects.

Per Sunnerhagen, CARe Therapeutics, University of Gothenburg, and Linus Sandegren, Uppsala Antibiotics Center (UAC), presented the organisation an focus of their new Antibiotics Centres.

Read more: UCMR DAY 2017

Welcome to the UCMR Day 2017!

UCMR DAY 2017All scientists and staff members within UCMR (Umeå Centre for Microbial Research) research groups, collaboration partners and researchers with an interest in microbial research and/or infection biology are invited to a day of inspiring research presentations and an excellent opportunity for networking and initiation of multidisciplinary collaborations.

Get an update on research within UCMR and core facilities, National infrastructures co-funded by UCMR programmes!

This year’s invited speakers include new faculty recruited to Department of Physics, the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine (WCMM) and medical faculty. We have also invited the two new Antibiotics centres at Uppsala University (Uppsala Antibiotics Center) and University of Gothenburg (Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research, CARe). In this session on-going research within UCMR to develop new antimicrobials against Chlamydia, TB, Candida and viruses will also be presented.


Venue: Minor Groove and Major Groove, Department of Molecular Biology, Building 6L

Read more: Welcome to the UCMR Day 2017!

UCMR Mini-symposium "Structural dynamics of biological membranes"

Welcome to the UCMR Mini-symposium "Structural dynamics of biological membranes"!

27 October 14:00-16:00
Lilla hörsalen, KB3A9 (new nr. KB.E3.01)

Organisers: Madeleine Ramstedt and Thereza Soares, UCMR and Department of Chemistry

Speakers: Thereza Soares, Michelle Cascella, Jens Preben Morth

Read more: UCMR Mini-symposium "Structural dynamics of biological membranes"

UCMR Minisymposium 6th of October 13.00-16.30

Welcome to the UCMR Minisymposium 2016!

6 October 13.00-16.30
Lecture hall Betula, Biomedical Building, NUS

Contact: Åke Forsberg, Professor, UCMR, MIMS and Department of Molecular Biology, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: UCMR Minisymposium 6th of October 13.00-16.30