Streptococcus and STI Unit
The Streptococcus and STI Unit provides surveillance, reference diagnostic services, and research on Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Mycoplasma genitalium. Streptococcal surveillance data is used to monitor the types of strains circulating in Canada, surveillance reports are published on-line annually. This surveillance data supports vaccine development and evaluation as well as outbreak investigations. The Streptococcus and STI Unit participates in international and national surveillance programs such as the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CAN-WARD), the Immunization Monitoring Program Active (IMPACT) 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. Gonococcal surveillance data is published on-line annually. Research activities include the molecular characterization of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms using whole genome sequencing and developing real-time PCR assays to predict antimicrobial susceptibilities in clinical specimens. 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.