Investigation and response to an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y ST-1466 urogenital infections, Australia

Commun Dis Intell (2018). 2024 Apr 10:48. doi: 10.33321/cdi.2024.48.20.


In 2023, an increased number of urogenital and anorectal infections with Neisseria meningitis serogroup Y (MenY) were reported in New South Wales (NSW). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) found a common sequence type (ST-1466), with limited sequence diversity. Confirmed outbreak cases were NSW residents with a N. meningitidis isolate matching the cluster sequence type; probable cases were NSW residents with MenY isolated from a urogenital or anorectal site from 1 July 2023 without WGS testing. Of the 41 cases, most were men (n = 27), of whom six reported recent contact with a female sex worker. Five cases were men who have sex with men and two were female sex workers. Laboratory alerts regarding the outbreak were sent to all Australian jurisdictions through the laboratories in the National Neisseria Network. Two additional states identified urogenital MenY ST-1466 infections detected in late 2023. Genomic analysis showed all MenY ST-1466 sequences were interspersed, suggestive of an Australia-wide outbreak. The incidence of these infections remains unknown, due to varied testing and reporting practices both within and across jurisdictions. Isolates causing invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in Australia are typed, and there has been no MenY ST-1466 IMD recorded in Australia to end of March 2024. Concerns remain regarding the risk of IMD, given the similarity of these sequences with a MenY ST-1466 IMD strain causing a concurrent outbreak in the United States of America.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Neisseria meningitidis*
  • Serogroup
  • Sex Workers*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*