Elise Pinta Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, University of Turku, Finland
1 protocol

Maria Pajunen Department of Biosciences, Division of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Finland
1 protocol

Mikael Skurnik
  • Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 1 Author merit


Ph. D. from University of Oulu, 1985

Field of Research

Molecular microbiology, lipopolysaccharide, bacterial virulence, bacteriophages and rapid microbial diagnostic

Current position

Professor of Bacteriology, Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, since 2002; Head of Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Helsinki University Central Hospital Laboratory, since 2004

Publications (since 2005)

  1. Ho, D. K., Riva, R., Kirjavainen, V., Jarva, H., Ginstrom, E., Blom, A. M., Skurnik, M. and Meri, S. (2012). Functional recruitment of the human complement inhibitor C4BP to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis outer membrane protein Ail. J Immunol 188(9): 4450-4459.
  2. Kondakova, A. N., Sevillano, A. M., Shaikhutdinova, R. Z., Lindner, B., Komandrova, N. A., Dentovskaya, S. V., Shashkov, A. S., Anisimov, A. P., Skurnik, M. and Knirel, Y. A. (2012). Revision of the O-polysaccharide structure of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1a; confirmation of the function of WbyM as paratosyltransferase. Carbohydr Res 350: 98-102.
  3. Pinta, E., Li, Z., Batzilla, J., Pajunen, M., Kasanen, T., Rabsztyn, K., Rakin, A. and Skurnik, M. (2012). Identification of three oligo-/polysaccharide-specific ligases in Yersinia enterocolitica. Mol Microbiol 83(1): 125-136.
  4. Laukkanen-Ninios, R., Didelot, X., Jolley, K. A., Morelli, G., Sangal, V., Kristo, P., Brehony, C., Imori, P. F., Fukushima, H., Siitonen, A., Tseneva, G., Voskressenskaya, E., Falcao, J. P., Korkeala, H., Maiden, M. C., Mazzoni, C., Carniel, E., Skurnik, M. and Achtman, M. (2011). Population structure of the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis complex according to multilocus sequence typing. Environ Microbiol 13(12): 3114-3127.
  5. Biedzka-Sarek, M., Metso, J., Kateifides, A., Meri, T., Jokiranta, T. S., Muszynski, A., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J., Zannis, V., Skurnik, M. and Jauhiainen, M. (2011). Apolipoprotein A-I exerts bactericidal activity against Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3. J Biol Chem 286(44): 38211-38219.
  6. Kiljunen, S., Datta, N., Dentovskaya, S. V., Anisimov, A. P., Knirel, Y. A., Bengoechea, J. A., Holst, O. and Skurnik, M. (2011). Identification of the lipopolysaccharide core of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as the receptor for bacteriophage phiA1122. J Bacteriol 193(18): 4963-4972.
  7. Uliczka, F., Pisano, F., Schaake, J., Stolz, T., Rohde, M., Fruth, A., Strauch, E., Skurnik, M., Batzilla, J., Rakin, A., Heesemann, J. and Dersch, P. (2011). Unique cell adhesion and invasion properties of Yersinia enterocolitica O:3, the most frequent cause of human Yersiniosis. PLoS Pathog 7(7): e1002117.
  8. Rabsztyn, K., Kasperkiewicz, K., Duda, K. A., Li, C. M., Lukasik, M., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J. and Skurnik, M. (2011). Characterization of anti-ECA antibodies in rabbit antiserum against rough Yersinia enterocolitica O:3. Biochemistry (Mosc) 76(7): 832-839.
  9. Skurnik, M. and Toivonen, S. (2011). Identification of distinct lipopolysaccharide patterns among Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica-like bacteria. Biochemistry (Mosc) 76(7): 823-831.
  10. Kenyon, J. J., De Castro, C., Cunneen, M. M., Reeves, P. R., Molinaro, A., Holst, O. and Skurnik, M. (2011). The genetics and structure of the O-specific polysaccharide of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype O:10 and its relationship with Escherichia coli O111 and Salmonella enterica O35. Glycobiology 21(9): 1131-1139.
  11. Sihvonen, L. M., Toivonen, S., Haukka, K., Kuusi, M., Skurnik, M. and Siitonen, A. (2011). Multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in discrimination of sporadic and outbreak-related strains of Yersinia enterocolitica. BMC Microbiol 11: 42.
  12. Sihvonen, L. M., Hallanvuo, S., Haukka, K., Skurnik, M. and Siitonen, A. (2011). The ail gene is present in some Yersinia enterocolitica biotype 1A strains. Foodborne Pathog Dis 8(3): 455-457.
  13. De Castro, C., Kenyon, J. J., Cunneen, M. M., Reeves, P. R., Molinaro, A., Holst, O. and Skurnik, M. (2011). Genetic characterisation and structural analysis of the O-specific polysaccharide of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype O:1c. Innate Immun 17(2): 183-190.
  14. Leo, J. C., Elovaara, H., Bihan, D., Pugh, N., Kilpinen, S. K., Raynal, N., Skurnik, M., Farndale, R. W. and Goldman, A. (2010). First analysis of a bacterial collagen-binding protein with collagen Toolkits: promiscuous binding of YadA to collagens may explain how YadA interferes with host processes. Infect Immun 78(7): 3226-3236.
  15. Pinta, E., Duda, K. A., Hanuszkiewicz, A., Salminen, T. A., Bengoechea, J. A., Hyytiainen, H., Lindner, B., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J., Holst, O. and Skurnik, M. (2010). Characterization of the six glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3 lipopolysaccharide outer core. J Biol Chem 285(36): 28333-28342.
  16. De Castro, C., Skurnik, M., Molinaro, A. and Holst, O. (2009). Characterization of the specific O-polysaccharide structure and biosynthetic gene cluster of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype O:15. Innate Immun 15(6): 351-359.
  17. Pinta, E., Duda, K. A., Hanuszkiewicz, A., Kaczynski, Z., Lindner, B., Miller, W. L., Hyytiainen, H., Vogel, C., Borowski, S., Kasperkiewicz, K., Lam, J. S., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J., Skurnik, M. and Holst, O. (2009). Identification and role of a 6-deoxy-4-keto-hexosamine in the lipopolysaccharide outer core of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3. Chemistry 15(38): 9747-9754.
  18. Cunneen, M. M., De Castro, C., Kenyon, J., Parrilli, M., Reeves, P. R., Molinaro, A., Holst, O. and Skurnik, M. (2009). The O-specific polysaccharide structure and biosynthetic gene cluster of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis serotype O:11. Carbohydr Res 344(12): 1533-1540.
  19. Duda, K. A., Duda, K. T., Beczala, A., Kasperkiewicz, K., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J. and Skurnik, M. (2009). ECA-immunogenicity of Proteus mirabilis strains. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) 57(2): 147-151.
  20. Hyvarinen, K., Laitinen, S., Paju, S., Hakala, A., Suominen-Taipale, L., Skurnik, M., Kononen, E. and Pussinen, P. J. (2009). Detection and quantification of five major periodontal pathogens by single copy gene-based real-time PCR. Innate Immun 15(4): 195-204.
  21. Niskanen, T., Laukkanen, R., Murros, A., Bjorkroth, J., Skurnik, M., Korkeala, H. and Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M. (2009). Characterisation of non-pathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis-like strains isolated from food and environmental samples. Int J Food Microbiol 129(2): 150-156.
  22. Matero, P., Pasanen, T., Laukkanen, R., Tissari, P., Tarkka, E., Vaara, M. and Skurnik, M. (2009). Real-time multiplex PCR assay for detection of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. APMIS 117(1): 34-44.
  23. Zhang, P., Skurnik, M., Zhang, S. S., Schwartz, O., Kalyanasundaram, R., Bulgheresi, S., He, J. J., Klena, J. D., Hinnebusch, B. J. and Chen, T. (2008). Human dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-grabbing nonintegrin (CD209) is a receptor for Yersinia pestis that promotes phagocytosis by dendritic cells. Infect Immun 76(5): 2070-2079.
  24. Leo, J. C., Elovaara, H., Brodsky, B., Skurnik, M. and Goldman, A. (2008). The Yersinia adhesin YadA binds to a collagenous triple-helical conformation but without sequence specificity. Protein Eng Des Sel 21(8): 475-484.
  25. Biedzka-Sarek, M., Jarva, H., Hyytiainen, H., Meri, S. and Skurnik, M. (2008). Characterization of complement factor H binding to Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3. Infect Immun 76(9): 4100-4109.
  26. Kirjavainen, V., Jarva, H., Biedzka-Sarek, M., Blom, A. M., Skurnik, M. and Meri, S. (2008). Yersinia enterocolitica serum resistance proteins YadA and ail bind the complement regulator C4b-binding protein. PLoS Pathog 4(8): e1000140.
  27. Zhang, S. S., Park, C. G., Zhang, P., Bartra, S. S., Plano, G. V., Klena, J. D., Skurnik, M., Hinnebusch, B. J. and Chen, T. (2008). Plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis utilizes murine DEC-205 (CD205) as a receptor to promote dissemination. J Biol Chem 283(46): 31511-31521.
  28. Biedzka-Sarek, M., Salmenlinna, S., Gruber, M., Lupas, A. N., Meri, S. and Skurnik, M. (2008). Functional mapping of YadA- and Ail-mediated binding of human factor H to Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3. Infect Immun 76(11): 5016-5027.
  29. Perez-Gutierrez, C., Llompart, C. M., Skurnik, M. and Bengoechea, J. A. (2007). Expression of the Yersinia enterocolitica pYV-encoded type III secretion system is modulated by lipopolysaccharide O-antigen status. Infect Immun 75(3): 1512-1516.
  30. Skottman, T., Piiparinen, H., Hyytiainen, H., Myllys, V., Skurnik, M. and Nikkari, S. (2007). Simultaneous real-time PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 26(3): 207-211.
  31. Vincent, P., Salo, E., Skurnik, M., Fukushima, H. and Simonet, M. (2007). Similarities of Kawasaki disease and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection epidemiology. Pediatr Infect Dis J 26(7): 629-631.
  32. Skurnik, M., Biedzka-Sarek, M., Lubeck, P. S., Blom, T., Bengoechea, J. A., Perez-Gutierrez, C., Ahrens, P. and Hoorfar, J. (2007). Characterization and biological role of the O-polysaccharide gene cluster of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:9. J Bacteriol 189(20): 7244-7253.
  33. Najdenski, H., Golkocheva, E., Kussovski, V., Ivanova, E., Manov, V., Iliev, M., Vesselinova, A., Bengoechea, J. A. and Skurnik, M. (2006). Experimental pig yersiniosis to assess attenuation of Yersinia enterocolitica O:8 mutant strains. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 47(3): 425-435.
  34. Kiljunen, S., Vilen, H., Pajunen, M., Savilahti, H. and Skurnik, M. (2005). Nonessential genes of phage phiYeO3-12 include genes involved in adaptation to growth on Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3. J Bacteriol 187(4): 1405-1414.
  35. Stolen, C. M., Marttila-Ichihara, F., Koskinen, K., Yegutkin, G. G., Turja, R., Bono, P., Skurnik, M., Hanninen, A., Jalkanen, S. and Salmi, M. (2005). Absence of the endothelial oxidase AOC3 leads to abnormal leukocyte traffic in vivo. Immunity 22(1): 105-115.
  36. Biedzka-Sarek, M., Venho, R. and Skurnik, M. (2005). Role of YadA, Ail, and Lipopolysaccharide in Serum Resistance of Yersinia enterocolitica Serotype O:3. Infect Immun 73(4): 2232-2244.
  37. Jacobsen, N. R., Bogdanovich, T., Skurnik, M., Lubeck, P. S., Ahrens, P. and Hoorfar, J. (2005). A real-time PCR assay for the specific identification of serotype O:9 of Yersinia enterocolitica. J Microbiol Methods 63(2): 151-156.
  38. Kiljunen, S., Hakala, K., Pinta, E., Huttunen, S., Pluta, P., Gador, A., Lonnberg, H. and Skurnik, M. (2005). Yersiniophage phiR1-37 is a tailed bacteriophage having a 270 kb DNA genome with thymidine replaced by deoxyuridine. Microbiology 151(Pt 12): 4093-4102.

Review Articles (since 2005)

  1. Białas, N., Kasperkiewicz, K., Radziejewska-Lebrecht, J. and Skurnik, M. (2012). Bacterial cell surface structures in Yersinia enterocolitica. Archivum immunologiae et therapiae experimentalis 60(3): 199-209.
  2. Skurnik, M. 2007. Phage Therapy. Viruses vs. Superbugs: A Solution to the Antibiotic Crisis? A book review. Journal of American Medical Association 297:644-645.
  3. Skurnik, M., Pajunen, M. and Kiljunen, S. (2007). Biotechnological challenges of phage therapy. Biotechnol Lett 29(7): 995-1003.
  4. Skurnik, M. and Strauch, E. (2006). Phage therapy: facts and fiction. Int J Med Microbiol 296(1): 5-14.
  5. Biedzka-Sarek, M. and El Skurnik, M. (2006). How to outwit the enemy: dendritic cells face Salmonella. APMIS 114(9): 589-600.

Book Chapters (since 2005)

  1. Skurnik, M. 2012. Yersinia surface structures and bacteriophages. Adv. Med. Biol. Exp., in press.
  2. Leo, J.C., and Skurnik, M. 2011. Adhesins of human pathogens from the genus Yersinia. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 715:1-15.
  3. Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M., Nesbakken, T., Skurnik, M., Thisted Lambertz, S., Dickson, J.S., Hoorfar, J., Korkeala, H. 2011. Yersinia enterocolitica in pork. In Rapid detection, characterization and enumeration of food-borne pathogens. Hoorfar, J. (Ed.). ASM Press. pp. 195-207.
  4. Mamat, U., Skurnik, M., and Bengoechea, J.A. 2011. LPS Core biosynthesis and genetics. In Bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Valvano, M. and Knirel, Y. (Eds). Springer Verlag. pp. 237-274.
  5. Biedzka-Sarek, M. and Skurnik, M. 2011. Bacterial escape from the complement system. In Bacterial Pathogenesis. Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms. Camille Locht and Michel Simonet (Eds.). Horizon Press. pp. 287-304.
  6. Skurnik, M., Radstrom, P., Knutsson, R., Segerman, B., Hallanvuo, S., Thisted Lambertz, S., Korkeala, H., and Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M. 2011. Yersinia. In Molecular Detection of Human Bacterial Pathogens. Dongyou Liu (ed). CRC Press. pp. xxx-xxx.
  7. Skurnik, M., and Bengoechea, J.A. 2009. Genetics and regulation of bacterial lipopolysaccharide synthesis. In Bacterial Polysaccharides - Current Innovations and Future Trends. Ullrich, M (ed). Caister Academic Press. pp. 27-37.
  8. Mikael Skurnik, Peter Radstrom, Rickard Knutsson, Bo Segerman, Saija Hallanvuo, Susanne Thisted Lambertz, Hannu Korkeala and Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa. 2009. Yersinia. In Molecular Detection of Foodborne Pathogens. Dongyou Liu (ed). CRC Press. pp. 501-518.
  9. Skurnik, M., Kiljunen, S., and Pajunen, M. 2008. Phage Therapy. In Therapeutic Microbiology: Probiotics and Related Strategies. Versalovic, J and Wilson, M (eds). ASM Press. pp. 373-389.
  10. Skurnik, M. 2007. My life with Yersinia. In The Genus Yersinia: from genomics to function. Perry, R.D. and Fetherston, J.D. (eds). New York: Springer, pp. 44-73.
  11. Hertwig, S., Skurnik, M., and Appel, B. 2006. Yersinia phages. In The Bacteriophages, second edition. Calendar, R. (ed.). Oxford University Press, pp 545-556.
1 Protocol published
Construction and Screening of a Transposon Insertion Library of Yersinia enterocolitica (YeO3-R1)
Authors:  Maria Pajunen, Elise Pinta and Mikael Skurnik, date: 08/05/2012, view: 10789, Q&A: 0
The Mu-transposon system is one of the best characterized transposition systems. Under minimal in vitro set-up, Mu transposition requires only a simple reaction buffer, MuA transposase protein, mini-Mu transposon DNA (donor) and target DNA. ...
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