Recent advances in understanding and combatting Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a genomic perspective

Fac Rev. 2021 Aug 27;10:65. doi: 10.12703/r/10-65. eCollection 2021.


The sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea remains a major global public health concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 87 million new cases in individuals who were 15 to 49 years of age occurred in 2016. The growing number of gonorrhoea cases is concerning given the rise in gonococci developing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Therefore, a global action plan is needed to facilitate surveillance. Indeed, the WHO has made surveillance leading to the elimination of STIs (including gonorrhoea) a global health priority. The availability of whole genome sequence data offers new opportunities to combat gonorrhoea. This can be through (i) enhanced surveillance of the global prevalence of AMR, (ii) improved understanding of the population biology of the gonococcus, and (iii) opportunities to mine sequence data in the search for vaccine candidates. Here, we review the current status in Neisseria gonorrhoeae genomics. In particular, we explore how genomics continues to advance our understanding of this complex pathogen.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; MLST; genomics; gonorrhoea.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

OBH and MCJM are funded by the Wellcome trust (grants 218205/Z/19/Z and 214374/Z/18/Z).