Photo of Elena Vikström

Elena Vikström

Associate Professor

Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology.

Quorum sensing communication between bacteria and host

In many human infections, host and pathogens coexist for years or even decades. Important examples include viral, parasitic and bacterial infections.

Bacteria communicate with each other using the quorum sensing (QS) system which allows collectively control its population density and the production of biofilms and virulence factors. These factors help bacteria collectively adhere, swarm, colonize and destroy host cells and tissues which may result in a more severe outcome of infections and inflammations and development of disease.

QS molecules, like N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) and 2-alkyl-4-quinolones (PQS) can either diffuse freely across plasma membrane, or together with bacterial toxins, are packed into outer membrane vesicles that bacteria deliver to the environment. In this way, QS has a role in communication and completion in microbial communities and with host cells.

We aim to study how bacteria can communicate with each other and with human cells using the language of QS, addressing a new aspects in inflammatory and infectious diseases. Our studies can hopefully help us elucidate new avenue in prevention of infection and inflammation. The project comprises fundamental in vitro and in vivo studies at the cellular and molecular levels and clinical studies on inflammatory diseases



Sherley Chamoun, Jenny Welander, Mihaela-Maria Martis, Maria Ntzouni, Carina Claesson, Elena Vikström, Maria V Turkina (2021) Colistin Dependence in Extensively Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strain Is Associated with ISAjo2 and ISAba13 Insertions and Multiple Cellular Responses International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 22, Article 576 Continue to DOI


Henrik Josephson, Maria Ntzouni, Camilla Skoglund, Stig Linder, Maria V Turkina, Elena Vikström (2020) Pseudomonas aeruginosa N-3-Oxo-Dodecanoyl-Homoserine Lactone Impacts Mitochondrial Networks Morphology, Energetics, and Proteome in Host Cells Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 11, Article 1069 Continue to DOI


Maria V Turkina, Elena Vikström (2019) Bacteria-Host Crosstalk: Sensing of the Quorum in the Context of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infections Journal of Innate Immunity, Vol. 11, p. 263-279 Continue to DOI


Jake Everett, Rebecca Gabrilska, Kendra P. Rumbaugh, Elena Vikström (2018) Assessing Pseudomonas aeruginosa Autoinducer Effects on Mammalian Epithelial Cells Quorum Sensing: Methods and Protocols, p. 213-225 Continue to DOI


Andrea Molinas, Maria V Turkina, Karl-Eric Magnusson, Ali Mirazimi, Elena Vikström (2017) Perturbation of Wound Healing, Cytoskeletal Organization and Cellular Protein Networks during Hazara Virus Infection Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Vol. 5, Article 98 Continue to DOI


Docent, Reader, Associate Professor in Medical Microbiology

2012 Linköping University, Sweden

Post-doctoral experience

2002-2004 Linköping University, Sweden

Doctoral Thesis

2000 PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases, Kiev, Ukraine, “Virulence and immunosuppressive activity in Shigella sonnei: role of lipopolysaccharide”

University degree

1990-1996 Master of Science (Immunology, Microbiology and Teaching Biology), Kiev University, Kiev, Ukraine