My research focus is on laboratory contributions for control of diseases of public health importance, with special emphasis on diseases caused by the pathogenic Neisseria and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These interests intersect most obviously in gonococcal (GC) disease. Achievements include the formation of the Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Program (AGSP) in 1979 and in 1994 its meningococcal (MC) equivalent (AMSP), now combined and maintained as the National Neisseria Network (NNN) which I co-ordinate. This successful model was used to establish a similar WHO Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Program (GASP) in its (separate) Western Pacific and South East Asian regions with more than 20 countries participating. These networks provide information for action via annual or quarterly data and analytical reports. N. gonorrhoeae is the most problematic STI in terms of AMR in Australia and globally. Other related outcomes nationally and internationally include optimised laboratory diagnostic procedures (including molecular diagnostics) and formulation of national diagnostic guidelines; applications of pathogen typing methods; and optimisation of programmatic treatments for disease control. Antimicrobial resistance [AMR] is increasing and this decreases treatment options. Surveillance of AMR is needed to determine programmatic as well as individual treatments but must be properly conducted to provide valid data. We conduct, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, comprehensive continuous and active surveillance of AMR in the pathogenic Neisseria (gonococci and meningococci) and link this to disease surveillance and control in Australia and the Western Pacific.
Broad Research Areas:
Pathology, Infectious Diseases, Virology
MB BS Qld, MD UNSW, FRCPA
Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, National Neisseria Network of Australia, International Collaboration on Gonococci, Public Health Laboratory Network of Australia
Specific Research Keywords:
STD/STIs, Antibacterial Drug Resistance, Molecular mechanisms, Bacteriology, Neisseria