The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Community and Vaccine-Preventable Invasive Bacterial Pathogens

Determining the transmission dynamics of MenW Neisseria meningitidis in Australia

Project Summary

Invasive meningococcal disease is a potentially devastating infection in humans, and is nationally notifiable. There are a number of serotypes of N. meningitidis, with serotypes B and C the most common in Australia. Recently, increasing numbers of cases caused by serotype W (MenW) have been identified in Australia, especially in Victoria.

Increases in MenW disease have been noted internationally (most recently in the UK and South America) and have resulted in changes in prevention strategies. A critical question is whether cases of MenW disease in Australia have been imported, or have resulted from local transmission.

This project therefore aims to use whole genome sequencing to determine the potential transmission dynamics of MenW within Australia.

Project Partners

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victoria, Australia

National Neisseria Network (NNN), Australia

Victorian infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), Victoria, Australia


Differences in the population structure of Neisseria meningitidis in two Australian states: Victoria and Western Australia.

Mowlaboccus S, Mullally CA, Richmond PC, Howden BP, Stevens K, Speers DJ, Keil AD, Bjornstad ON, Perkins TT, Kahler CM. PloS One. 2017;12(10):e0186839.

Rise in invasive serogroup W meningococcal disease in Australia 2013-2015 

Martin NV, Ong KS, Howden BP, Lahra MM, Lambert SB, Beard FH, Dowse GK, Saul N. Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report. 2016;40(4):E454-e9.

Rising incidence of invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W in Victoria

Bond KA, Stevens K, Bulach D, Carville K, Ong KS, Howden BP. The Medical Journal of Australia. 2016;204(7):265-6.

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