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The use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to describe the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in NZ

65 months
Approved budget:
Dr Veronica Playle
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
Tuberculosis remains a major health challenge globally and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. Although New Zealand is low-burden TB country there are significant ethnic disparities that need to be addressed. In addition NZ has been identified by WHO as a country for TB elimination by 2050. In order to reach this target we will be required to rethink our approach to TB control in NZ. This project aims to use whole genome sequencing (WGS) of TB isolates to understand the epidemiology of TB in New Zealand – focusing on local transmission, clusters of disease occurring in Māori and Pacific people and strain specific factors. In addition it aims to show that implementation of WGS for TB typing will result in improved efficiencies in TB control by reducing unnecessary public health actions