Call for scientific collaboration to support genomic-based surveillance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae-antimicrobial resistance at EU-level

News story

ECDC is looking to establish a scientific collaboration with an organisation which can perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, carry out related data analyses, share results of the analyses with ECDC and the participants of the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme as well as visualise the results.

The scope of work is initially anticipated to encompass approximately 3 000 isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae collected in 2018 as part of the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP). However, with the approval of both the selected collaborator and ECDC the scientific collaboration may be expanded to cover additional Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates in the future. For further details, please see the report “Molecular typing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae – a study of 2013 isolates” and the peer-reviewed publication “Public health surveillance of multidrug-resistant clones of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Europe: a genomic survey” which include details of the methodology used for similar work in the past.

The collaborator will benefit from access to a large and representative collection of isolates and the resulting data, in agreement with ECDC and the participating EU/EEA countries. The collaborators will also be included as co-authors of the resulting scientific publications from EU studies that will use these WGS data and/or the results generated through this collaboration, in accordance with international recommendations on authorship and the ECDC authorship policy.

The following minimum eligibility criteria will apply to this scientific collaboration:

  • Organisation and data server should be located in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) and meet EU data protection requirements.
  • Services should be offered without cost to ECDC.
  • The collaborator should be a public or non-commercial organisation, with no conflict of interests with ECDC’s mandate.
  • The collaborator should be able to offer several different analytical approaches to support the WGS analysis, including phylogenetic analysis, analysis of the correlation between phenotypic resistance to clinically relevant antimicrobials and genetic resistance markers, and the characterisation of the baseline genomic population structure.
  • The collaborator should be able to offer online visualisation solutions for the phylogenetic analysis, resistance determinants, phenotypic antimicrobial resistance data and key epidemiological data.
  • Generated data can only be disclosed, used and published in agreement with ECDC and the participating EU/EEA countries, which collected the isolates.

Rights and obligations of ECDC and the collaborator will be specified in a collaboration agreement to be signed by both parties prior to the start of the project. No financial contribution can be made by ECDC in the framework of this collaboration.

Please express your interest by emailing to and Include a short technical proposal (up to 10 pages) which describes the analytical methodology and proposed platform for WGS analysis for identification of resistance determinants of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

ECDC will review all expressions of interest, evaluate them against the criteria listed above and select the collaborator who best satisfies these requirements. Please note that ECDC is under no obligation to make a selection. A successful applicant will be notified within 20 working days of the deadline.

Deadline: 7 February 2019, 23:59 CET

Page last updated: 31 Jan 2019