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Characteristics of patients infected with common Neisseria gonorrhoeae NG-MAST sequence type strains presenting at the Edinburgh genitourinary medicine clinic


Objective: Characterisation of population groups infected with common Neisseria gonorrhoeae multi-antigen sequence typing (NG-MAST) sequence types, presenting at the Edinburgh genitourinary medicine clinic.

Methods: All patients with gonococcal infection attending over a 2-year period were reviewed. Patients infected with unique, paired and clustered gonococcal sequence types were compared. The characteristics of patients infected with common sequence types were analysed. The concordance of gonococcal strains between sexual partners was examined.

Results: There were 78 unique, 17 paired and 34 clustered sequence types: the three groups varied significantly in relation to patient gender and origin/location of recent sexual contacts. There were nine large sequence type clusters (containing 11–24 isolates each) and these varied in terms of patient gender, sexual orientation and HIV prevalence. There was high concordance (94%) of sequence types between sexual contacts.

Conclusion: There was a trend towards significance when comparing the risks of carriage/contact with HIV between different sequence type clusters. Further research is therefore warranted to determine if NG-MAST data can be used to help identify high-risk sexual networks.

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