NT Health Research and Publications Online

Welcome to NT Health Research and Publications Online, an open access digital repository that showcases the research projects and output of researchers working for the Northern Territory Department of Health (NT Health), while also collecting and preserving publications and multimedia produced in an official capacity, that represent the department. This service is maintained by NT Health Library Services
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  • Person
    Wright, Jo
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Tracking trends in the Top End: clindamycin and erythromycin resistance in Group A Streptococcus in the Northern Territory, 2012-2023.
    This retrospective study reviewed the macrolide resistance rates of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) isolates in the Northern Territory from 2012 to 2023. Clindamycin and erythromycin resistance rates peaked in 2021, at 6.0% and 12.2% respectively, and then returned to near baseline at 1-2% in 2023. Increased resistance rates were identified in the Top End of Australia from mid-2020, followed 15 months later by high rates in central Australia in 2022. Factors associated with resistant isolates were living in a rural region and of age 18 years and older. Possible explanations include a transient clonal introduction of a resistant GAS strain to the Northern Territory from 2020 to 2022. Ongoing surveillance is required to monitor regional trends and identify temporal variations in resistant isolates.
  • Person
    Nixon, Joanne
  • Publication
    Journal Article
    High level of genomic divergence in orf-I p12 and hbz genes of HTLV-1 subtype-C in Central Australia.
    (2024-07-17)
    Hirons, Ashley
    ;
    Yurick, David
    ;
    Jansz, Natasha
    ;
    Ellenberg, Paula
    ;
    Franchini, Genoveffa
    ;
    ;
    Khoury, Georges
    ;
    Purcell, Damian F J
    Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection remains a largely neglected public health problem, particularly in resource-poor areas with high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, such as some remote populations in Central Australia where an estimated 37% of adults are infected with HTLV-1. Most of our understanding of HTLV-1 infection comes from studies of the globally spread subtype-A (HTLV-1a), with few molecular studies reported with the Austral-Melanesian subtype-C (HTLV-1c) predominant in the Indo-Pacific and Oceania regions.Using a primer walking strategy and direct sequencing, we constructed HTLV-1c genomic consensus sequences from 22 First Nations participants living with HTLV-1c in Central Australia. Phylogenetic and pairwise analysis of this subtype-C proviral gDNA showed higher levels of genomic divergence in comparison to previously published HTLV-1a genomes. While the overall genomic homology between subtypes was 92.5%, the lowest nucleotide and amino acid sequence identity occurred near the 3' end of the proviral genome coding regulatory genes, especially overlapping hbz (85.37%, 77.46%, respectively) and orf-I product p12 (82.00%, 70.30%, respectively). Strikingly, the HTLV-1c genomic consensus sequences uniformly showed a defective translation start codon for the immune regulatory proteins p12/p8 encoded by the HTLV-1A orf-I. Deletions in the proviral genome were detected in many subjects, particularly in the structural gag, pol and env genes. Similarly, using a droplet digital PCR assay measuring the copies of gag and tax per reference host genome, we quantitatively confirmed that provirus retains the tax gene region at higher levels than gag.Our genomic analysis of HTLV-1c in Central Australia in conjunction with earlier Melanesian HTLV-1c sequences, elucidate substantial differences with respect to the globally spread HTLV-1a. Future studies should address the impact these genomic differences have on infection and the regionally distinctive frequency of associated pulmonary disease. Understanding the host and virus subtype factors which contribute to the differential morbidity observed, is crucial for the development of much needed therapeutics and vaccine strategies against this highly endemic infection in remote First Nations communities in Central Australia.
  • Person
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