The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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

Sexually Transmitted Pathogens (Past Projects)

Transmission of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in New Zealand and Australia

Project Summary

Infection due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or gonorrhoea, is one of the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infections (STIs), with the incidence of new diagnoses almost doubling in the last 5-10 years in Australia. Current national STI guidelines currently recommend combined treatment with intramuscular ceftriaxone and oral azithromycin. Of global concern is increasing antimicrobial resistance in N. gonorrhoeae, with only a few available therapeutic options. Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in N. gonorrhoeae by the Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme (AGSP) has indicated that Victorian gonorrhoea isolates have among the highest rates of decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone in Australia.

This project aims to understand the molecular epidemiology of N. gonorrhoeae in Victoria and New Zealand using whole-genome sequencing. In particular, we aim to investigate the evolution and spread of antimicrobial resistance in these local N. gonorrhoeae populations, and the genome dynamics of person-to-person transmission.

Project Partners

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Victoria, Australia

Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), New Zealand 


Genomic epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in New Zealand

Lee RS, Seemann T, Heffernan H, Kwong JC, Goncalves da Silva A, Carter GP, Woodhouse R, Dyet KH, Bulach DM, Stinear TP, Howden BP, Williamson DA. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2017. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkx405

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