Ethnically diverse urban transmission networks of Neisseria gonorrhoeae without evidence of HIV serosorting

Dave, Jayshree, Paul, John, Pasvol, Thomas Joshua, Williams, Andy, Warburton, Fiona, Cole, Kevin, Miari, Victoria Fotini, Stabler, Richard and Eyre, David W (2019) Ethnically diverse urban transmission networks of Neisseria gonorrhoeae without evidence of HIV serosorting. BMJ Journals Sexually Transmitted Infections. ISSN 1472-3263

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Abstract

Objective
We aimed to characterise gonorrhoea transmission patterns in a diverse urban population by linking genomic, epidemiological and antimicrobial susceptibility data.

Methods
Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates from patients attending sexual health clinics at Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK, during an eleven-month period underwent whole-genome sequencing and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. We combined laboratory and patient data to investigate the transmission network structure.

Results
One hundred and fifty-eight isolates from 158 patients were available with associated descriptive data. One hundred and twenty-nine (82%) patients identified as male and 25 (16%) as female; 4 (3%) records lacked gender information. Self-described ethnicities were: 51 (32%) English/Welsh/Scottish; 33 (21%) White, other; 23 (15%) Black British/Black African/Black, other; 12 (8%) Caribbean; 9 (6%) South Asian; 6 (4%) mixed ethnicity; 10 (6%) other; data were missing for 14 (9%). Self-reported sexual orientations were 82 (52%) men who have sex with men; 49 (31%) heterosexual; 2 (1%) bisexual; data missing for 25 individuals. Twenty-two (14%) patients were HIV-positive. Whole genome sequence data were generated for 151 isolates, which linked 75 (50%) patients to at least one other case. Using sequencing data, we found no evidence of transmission networks related to specific ethnic groups (p=0.64) or of HIV serosorting (p=0.35). Of 82 MSM/bisexual patients with sequencing data, 45 (55%) belonged to clusters of ≥2 cases, compared to 16/44 (36%) heterosexuals with sequencing data (p=0.06).

Conclusion
We demonstrate links between 50% of patients in transmission networks using a relatively small sample in a large cosmopolitan city. We found no evidence of HIV serosorting. Our results do not support assortative selectivity as an explanation for differences in gonorrhoea incidence between ethnic groups.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Research Centres and Groups: Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research
Subjects: R Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Deborah Miller
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 11:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/87992

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