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Biochemistry Seminar – Dr Htin Lin Aung, Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Genetic diversity, drug resistance and transmission patterns of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in low and high tuberculosis burden settings

Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease caused mainly by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), and yet paradoxically it claims 5000 lives daily. Of growing concern is the prevalence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR-TB) being the leading cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Despite New Zealand being a low TB burden country, Māori and Pasifika have disproportionally high rates of TB compared to New Zealand Europeans. Remarkably, there are New Zealand unique Mtb strains, which are endemic to Māori and Pasifika communities. On the other hand, Myanmar, one of 14 countries listed by World Health Organization (WHO) for the high burden of TB, TB and HIV, and MDR-TB, has diverse Mtb strains. WHO has called for multi-sectoral action together with innovative approaches to expedite progress to combat TB. In line with this, we have established a multidisciplinary research team consisting of academics, clinicians, epidemiologists, and social scientists.

In this talk, I will discuss how, as a result of this multi-sectoral collaboration, we are using whole genome sequencing (WGS) to unravel genetic diversity, drug resistance, and transmission patterns of Mtb in New Zealand and Myanmar, and translating this WGS-guided evidence to TB healthcare policymaking and practice.

Date Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Seminar
LocationBiochemistry Seminar Room 231

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