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Joakim Esbjörnsson


The Tegger Foundation for research at widespread diseases

"Pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 and HIV-2 on the intra-host and population level"


Joakim Esbjörnsson Photo


Current research topics

Pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 and HIV-2 at the intra-host and population level

The focus of my research is to understand how viral evolutionary parameters can be coupled to disease progression rate, clinical markers of disease progression and epidemic spread. It is well known that the globally spread HIV-1 results in development of AIDS within a few years after infection in the majority of infected individuals, if untreated. HIV-2, on the other hand, is confined mainly to West Africa and has been shown to be less pathogenic, despite a similar target cell range and cause of disease. By studying these viruses in parallel, using the same technologies and analytical tools, we can gain a better understanding of fundamental differences between these two epidemics and their ability to cause disease.


  1. Esbjörnsson J, Månsson F, Kvist A, Isberg PE, Nowroozalizadeh S, Biague AJ, da Silva ZJ, Jansson M, Fenyö EM, Norrgren H, Medstrand P. (2012) Inhibition of HIV-1 disease progression by contemporaneous HIV-2 infection. N Engl J Med. Jul 19. 367(3):224-32.
  2. Karlsson U, Antonsson L, Ljungberg B, Medstrand P, Esbjörnsson J, Jansson M, Gisslen M. (2012) Dual R3R5 tropism characterizes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV-1 isolates from individuals with high CSF viral load. AIDS. Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Ozkaya Sahin G, Holmgren B, da Silva Z, Nielsen J, Nowroozalizadeh S, Esbjörnsson J, Månsson F, Andersson S, Norrgren H, Aaby P, Jansson M, Fenyö EM. (2011) Potent intratype neutralizing activity distinguishes human immunodeficiency virus type 2 from human immunodeficiency virus type 1. J Virol. Jan. 86(2):961-71.
  4. Fenyö EM, Esbjörnsson J, Medstrand P, Jansson M. (2011) Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 biological variation and coreceptor use: from concept to clinical significance. J Intern Med. Dec. 270(6):520-31.
  5. Vinner L, Holmgren B, Jensen KJ, Esbjörnsson J, Borggren M, Hentze JL, Karlsson I, Andresen BS, Gram GJ, Kloverpris H, Aaby P, Da Silva ZJ, Fenyö EM, Fomsgaard A. (2011) Sequence analysis of HIV-1 isolates from Guinea-Bissau: selection of vaccine epitopes relevant in both West African and European countries. APMIS. 119(8):487-97.
  6. Esbjörnsson J, Mild M, Månsson F, Norrgren H, Medstrand P. (2011) HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa: origin, demography and migrations. PLoS One. e17025.
  7. Esbjörnsson J, Månsson F, Martínez-Arias W, Vincic E, Biague AJ, da Silva ZJ, Fenyö EM, Norrgren H, Medstrand P. (2010) Frequent CXCR4 tropism of HIV-1 subtype A and CRF02_AG during late-stage disease--indication of an evolving epidemic in West Africa. Retrovirology. 7:23.
  8. Mild M, Kvist A, Esbjörnsson J, Karlsson I, Fenyö EM, Medstrand P. (2010) Differences in molecular evolution between switch (R5 to R5X4/X4-tropic) and non-switch (R5-tropic only) HIV-1 populations during infection. Infect Genet Evol. 356-64.
  9. Mild M, Esbjörnsson J, Fenyö EM, Medstrand P. (2007) Frequent intrapatient recombination between human immunodeficiency virus type 1 R5 and X4 envelopes: implications for coreceptor switch. J Virol. 3369-76.
  10. Repits J, Oberg M, Esbjörnsson J, Medstrand P, Karlsson A, Albert J, Fenyö EM, Jansson M. (2005) Selection of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 R5 variants with augmented replicative capacity and reduced sensitivity to entry inhibitors during severe immunodeficiency. J Gen Virol. 2859-69.