Genomic epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in New Zealand
AuthorLee, RS; Seemann, T; Heffernan, H; Kwong, JC; da Silva, AG; Carter, GP; Woodhouse, R; Dyet, KH; Bulach, DM; Stinear, TP; ...
Source TitleJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
University of Melbourne Author/sKwong, Jason; Seemann, Torsten; Lee, Robyn; Goncalves Da Silva, Anders; Carter, Glen; Bulach, Dieter; Stinear, Timothy; Howden, Benjamin; Williamson, Deborah
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLee, R. S., Seemann, T., Heffernan, H., Kwong, J. C., da Silva, A. G., Carter, G. P., Woodhouse, R., Dyet, K. H., Bulach, D. M., Stinear, T. P., Howden, B. P. & Williamson, D. A. (2018). Genomic epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in New Zealand. JOURNAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL CHEMOTHERAPY, 73 (2), pp.353-364. https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkx405.
Access StatusOpen Access
Background: Antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a major threat to public health. No studies to date have examined the genomic epidemiology of gonorrhoea in the Western Pacific Region, where the incidence of gonorrhoea is particularly high. Methods: A population-level study of N. gonorrhoeae in New Zealand (October 2014 to May 2015). Comprehensive susceptibility testing and WGS data were obtained for 398 isolates. Relatedness was inferred using phylogenetic trees, and pairwise core SNPs. Mutations and genes known to be associated with resistance were identified, and correlated with phenotype. Results: Eleven clusters were identified. In six of these clusters, >25% of isolates were from females, while in eight of them, >15% of isolates were from females. Drug resistance was common; 98%, 32% and 68% of isolates were non-susceptible to penicillin, ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, respectively. Elevated MICs to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) were observed in 3.5% of isolates (cefixime MICs ≥ 0.12 mg/L, ceftriaxone MICs ≥ 0.06 mg/L). Only nine isolates had penA XXXIV genotypes, three of which had decreased susceptibility to ESCs (MIC = 0.12 mg/L). Azithromycin non-susceptibility was identified in 43 isolates (10.8%); two of these isolates had 23S mutations (C2611T, 4/4 alleles), while all had mutations in mtrR or its promoter. Conclusions: The high proportion of females in clusters suggests transmission is not exclusively among MSM in New Zealand; re-assessment of risk factors for transmission may be warranted in this context. As elevated MICs of ESCs and/or azithromycin were found in closely related strains, targeted public health interventions to halt transmission are urgently needed.
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