While Neisseria gonorrhoeae generally infects mucosal surfaces in the cervix, pharynx, rectum, and urethra, it can occasionally cause disseminated infection. The role of bacterial and host factors in disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) is not completely understood.
In our study, we sequenced the genome of N. gonorrhoeae isolated from a patient with DGI including a prothetic joint infection. We identified alleles at antimicrobial resistance loci as well as loci previously described as associated with DGI or serum resistance. We additionally performed a phylogenetic analysis of our isolate, recent isolates from the United States, and six DGI-associated isolates from a recent genomic epidemiology study from Australia. We found that DGI isolates were dispersed throughout the tree, and our isolate encoded some, but not all, DGI-associated alleles. This highlights the need for additional sequencing of DGI isolates to better understand the contribution of bacterial genetic variation to DGI.
This project is now published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases!