Reducing the burden of group A streptococcal disease in the Northern Territory: the role of chemoprophylaxis for those at greatest risk

Katherine Gibney and Andrew Steer
Med J Aust 2022; 217 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51766
Published online: 21 November 2022

The unacceptably high prevalence among Indigenous people and people who need dialysis warrants a clinical trial of prophylactic antibiotics

Relatively little is known about the epidemiology of invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) disease in Australia. In this issue of the MJA, Birrell and colleagues report that the iGAS disease burden in the Northern Territory continues to fall largely on Indigenous Australians and people undergoing haemodialysis.1 This raises the question of whether antibiotic prophylaxis should be provided to those at greatest risk. Their report is timely, as national public health guidelines are being developed following the listing of iGAS disease as nationally notifiable in July 2021.2

  • 1 Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC


Katherine Gibney receives salary support from a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) fellowship awarded in 2020.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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