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Utility of Whole Genome Sequencing in Assessing and Enhancing Partner Notification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Infection

Kong, LY; Wilson, JD; Moura, IB; Fawley, W; Walker, A; Kelly, L; Eyre, DW; (2021) Utility of Whole Genome Sequencing in Assessing and Enhancing Partner Notification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Infection. Sexually Transmitted Diseases , 48 (10) pp. 773-780. 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001419. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection of global concern. We investigated whole genome sequencing (WGS) as a tool to measure and enhance partner notification (PN) in gonorrhea management. / Methods: Between May-November 2018, all N. gonorrhoeae isolated from patients attending Leeds Sexual Health, UK, underwent WGS. Reports listing sequences within 20 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of study isolates within a database containing select isolates from April 1 2016 to November 15 2018 were issued to clinicians. The proportion of cases with a potential transmission partner identified by PN was determined from patient and PN data. WGS reports were reviewed to identify additional cases within ≤6 SNPs and verified for PN concordance. / Results: 380 isolates from 377 cases were successfully sequenced; 292 had traceable/contactable partners and 69 (18%) had a potential transmission partner identified by PN. Concordant PN and WGS links were identified in 47 partner pairs. Of 308 cases with no transmission partner by PN, 185 (60%) had a case within ≤6 SNPs; examination of these cases’ PN data identified seven partner pairs with previously unrecognized PN link, giving a total of 54 pairs; all had ≤4 SNP differences. WGS clusters confirmed gaps in partner finding, at individual and group levels. Despite the clinic providing sexual health services to the whole city, 35 cases with multiple partners had no genetically related case, suggesting multiple undiagnosed infections. / Conclusions: WGS could improve gonorrhea PN and control by identifying new links and clusters with significant gaps in partner finding.

Type: Article
Title: Utility of Whole Genome Sequencing in Assessing and Enhancing Partner Notification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Infection
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001419
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001419
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123536
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