Aims: To describe the molecular epidemiology of emm types associated with circulating pharyngeal group A streptococcus (GAS) isolates in Auckland, New Zealand.
Methods: GAS isolates were collected over a 10-day period from a community pathology provider in Auckland. PCR analysis and sequencing of the emm gene was performed at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.
Results: A total of 52 emm types were identified from 278 GAS isolates. The three most common emm types were emm1, emm89 and emm12. Overall, the experimental 30-valent GAS M protein vaccine covered 19 / 52 (37%) of emm types in our study.
Discussion: Our study provides baseline data on the circulating pharyngeal GAS emm types in Auckland. Future clinical and molecular surveillance of GAS pharyngitis is essential in the context of ongoing GAS vaccine development.