Streptococcus and STI Unit
The Streptococcus and STI Unit provides surveillance, reference diagnostic services, and research on Streptococcus pneumonia, Streptococcus pyogenes, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Mycoplasma genitalium . Streptococcal data generated is used for vaccine development and evaluation. In addition, this laboratory supports provincial public health laboratories in the characterization of streptococcal isolates for outbreak support. The Unit participates in international and national surveillance programs such as the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CAN-WARD), the Immunization Monitoring Program Active (IPMACT) and International Circumpolar Surveillance (ICS). The N. gonorrhoeae work focuses on monitoring trends in antimicrobial susceptibilities in order to assist in Canadian STI treatment guidelines and sequencing typing of isolates to assist with outbreak and treatment failure investigations. Research activities include the molecular characterization of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms using whole genome sequencing and real-time PCR assays. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of STIs reported in Canada as well as the emergence of gonococcal strains with decreased susceptibility to 3rd generation cephalosporins and resistance to azithromycin. The M. genitalium program focuses on determining azithromycin and moxifloxacin antimicrobial resistance.