Duration: 2017 – 2021

Funding source: Sexual Health Research Fund (Queensland Government, Department of Health)

Chief Investigators: A/Prof David Whiley, Dr Emma Sweeney, Prof Graeme Nimmo, Dr Amy Jennison, Dr Julian Langton-Lockton, A/Prof Stephen Lambert, Dr Colleen Lau, Dr Ella Trembizki, Dr Cheryl Bletchly

Postdoctoral Researchers: Dr Kym Lowry, Dr Jacob Tickner

Aim

The overarching aim of this work is to combine the powers of genome science and enhanced diagnostic testing to reduce the disease burden of syphilis in Queensland, and elsewhere.

Background

Syphilis, caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, is a STI that disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM) and Indigenous populations. There has been a dramatic increase in notification rates of syphilis in Australia since 2011, including in Queensland and elsewhere.

Our approach

We will apply novel molecular tools, including whole genome sequencing, to provide precise information regarding transmission of syphilis in Queensland.

Impact

The data from this project will provide a means of better understanding syphilis epidemiology. Moreover, it will improve the precision and effectiveness of public health interventions by enabling more timely and targeted prevention and control activities.

Project members

Associate Professor David Whiley

Principal Research Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Dr Emma Sweeney

Postdoctoral Researcher
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Dr Ella Trembizki

NHMRC Early Career Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Dr Kym Lowry

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Jake Tickner

Mr Jake Tickner

Postdoctoral Researcher
UQ Centre for Clinical Research