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Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 24;8(1):1503. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20015-x.

Use of whole genome sequencing to investigate an increase in Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection among women in urban areas of Australia.

Author information

1
The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, Queensland, 4029, Australia.
2
Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia.
3
Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia.
4
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia.
5
WHO Collaborating Centre for STD, Microbiology Department, New South Wales Health Pathology East, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, 2031, Australia.
6
School of Medical Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, 2052, Australia.
7
The University of Queensland, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, Queensland, 4029, Australia. d.whiley@uq.edu.au.
8
Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia. d.whiley@uq.edu.au.
9
Microbiology Department, Pathology Queensland, Herston, Queensland, 4029, Australia. d.whiley@uq.edu.au.

Abstract

Increasing rates of gonorrhoea have been observed among women within the Australian state of New South Wales. Here, we applied whole genome sequencing (WGS) to better understand the associated networks and transmission dynamics. Ninety-four isolates of a particular N. gonorrhoeae genotype (G122) associated with women (years 2012 to 2014) underwent phylogenetic analysis using core single nucleotide polymorphisms. WGS data revealed five main clusters, all of which were heterogeneous in terms of patient age and site of infection. The relatively high cervical/vaginal infections in each cluster was indicative of transmission in the general heterosexual population, noting that there is typically high rates of condom use for vaginal sex among local commercial sex workers. WGS also enabled the identification of groups of individuals belonging to tighter transmission chains within clusters, and hence may present a new tool for targeting public health interventions. The enhanced resolution of WGS provides a ready means of confirming suspected changes in N. gonorrhoeae epidemiology, but also enables key features to be identified or new questions to be raised regarding the composition of the associated sexual networks.

PMID:
29367612
PMCID:
PMC5784116
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-018-20015-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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