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The Neisseria genus comprises several species, including two major pathogens for humans: Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These pathogens pose substantial health challenges worldwide, and their propensity for developing antibiotic resistance makes them a focal point of current research and surveillance efforts.

Neisseria‘s relevance in the public health sector is well-documented. N. meningitidis, causing meningitis and septicemia, continues to cause global outbreaks. On the other hand, N. gonorrhoeae, the agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, remains a widespread health concern with steadily increasing antibiotic resistance. An estimated 87 million new gonorrhea infections occur each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Monitoring these Neisseria species is crucial to preventing outbreaks, informing treatment guidelines, and managing public health risks.

TheiaProk is our comprehensive workflow for analyzing bacterial Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) data, including Neisseria sequences. TheiaProk will automatically launch Neisseria characterization tools like in silico multi-antigen sequence typing for N. gonorrhoeae (NG-MAST). TheiaProk also performs N. gonorrhoeae sequence typing for antimicrobial resistance using NG-STAR. For N. meningitidis, meningotype performs serotyping, MLST, finetyping, and additional sequence typing. These tools help public health laboratories to keep pace with the evolving landscape of Neisseria.

With NG-MAST, labs can determine the genetic type of the gonorrhea-causing bacteria, which aids in understanding its spread, diversity, and resistance profile. NG-MAST is currently the most widely used method for epidemiological surveillance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The NG-STAR tool further supports these efforts by identifying sequence types associated with antimicrobial resistance.

As we continue to navigate the Neisseria public health landscape together, tools like TheiaProk enable us to stay one step ahead.