Genomic surveillance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in the Philippines, 2013-2014

Manuel C Jamoralin, Silvia Argimón, Marietta L Lagrada, Alfred S Villamin, Melissa L Masim, June M Gayeta, Karis D Boehme, Agnettah M Olorosa, Sonia B Sia, Charmian M Hufano, Victoria Cohen, Lara T Hernandez, Benjamin Jeffrey, Khalil Abudahab, John Stelling, Matthew T G Holden, David M Aanensen, Celia C Carlos

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Antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a major threat to public health and is of particular concern in the Western Pacific Region, where the incidence of gonorrhoea is high. The Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program (ARSP) has been capturing information on resistant gonorrhoea since 1996, but genomic epidemiology studies on this pathogen are lacking in the Philippines. We sequenced the whole genomes of 21 N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected in 2013-2014 by ARSP. The multilocus sequence type, multiantigen sequence type, presence of determinants of antimicrobial resistance and relatedness among the isolates were all derived from the sequence data. The concordance between phenotypic and genotypic resistance was also determined. Ten of 21 isolates were resistant to penicillin, ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, due mainly to the presence of the blaTEM gene, the S91F mutation in the gyrA gene and the tetM gene, respectively. None of the isolates was resistant to ceftriaxone or cefixime. The concordance between phenotypic and genotypic resistance was 92.38% overall for five antibiotics in four classes. Despite the small number of isolates studied, they were genetically diverse, as shown by the sequence types, the N. gonorrhoeae multiantigen sequence typing types and the tree. Comparison with global genomes placed the Philippine genomes within global lineage A and led to the identification of an international transmission route. This first genomic survey of N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected by ARSP will be used to contextualize prospective surveillance. It highlights the importance of genomic surveillance in the Western Pacific and other endemic regions for understanding the spread of drug-resistant gonorrhoea worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalWestern Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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