Dr Timothy Barkham, Department of Lab Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital & Dr Swaine Chen, Department of Medicine, National University of Singapore
In 2015, an infectious outbreak of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) ST283, linked to the consumption of raw freshwater fish occurred in Singapore. Investigations into the outbreak led to enforced policies including banning the use of freshwater fish in ready-to-eat raw fish dishes, and requiring procurement of saltwater fish for raw consumption from AVA-approved suppliers. Although ST283 is less prevalent today, there are other GBS strains that cause human infections, recording some 230 invasive cases/year in adults.
The project investigates other strains of GBS to find out if they cause foodborne disease in humans. The research findings will have impact on the formulation of policies, food handling practices, medical education and training.