Mogens Kilian


The main theme is bacterial-host interactions in health and disease. The work includes molecular mapping og complex microbiotas of the human superorganism and focused studies of the population genetics and taxonomy of bacteria, their molecular epidemiology, and interactions with the human host. The genetic mechanisms causing variation in bacteria and the evolution and spread of the bacterial species are studied by population genetic analyses applied to collections of bacteria isolated over time from different geographical areas and from well-defined infections combined with bacteria isolated from healthy carriers. These studies form the basis for defining evolutionary lineages and subpopulations with distinct pathogenic potential. The analyses include DNA sequencing of single genes and whole genomes from the bacteria combined with comparative sequence and functional analyses in in vitro and animal models of infection. The aim is to obtain improved information on the molecular details of host-pathogen interactions that may facilitate identification, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases.

Current projects include studies on Streptococcus species  including both pathogenic and commensal species, Propionibacterium acnes, and Haemophilus species.

Among others, putative virulence factors we have analyzed include IgA1 proteases in different bacterial species, capsule production in streptococci, and leukotoxin in A. actinomycetemcomitans.

Research interests

  • The complex microbiotas of the upper respiratory tract (nasal cavity, tonsils, and oral cavity) and skin and their natural history and interactions with the host.
  • The population genetics and molecular pathogenesis of acne vulgaris
  • New ways to prevent and treat acne vulgaris.


Methods in the laboratory include cultivation and identification of bacteria , DNA based typing of and phylogenetic analysis of bacteria,  PCR, DNA cloning and sequencing, expression and purification of recombinant proteins, in vitro and in vivo testing of putative virulence factors.


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