Hugo Strydom joined ESR in 2008 and is a scientist in the Enteric Reference and Leptospira Laboratory. His work focusses on the surveillance of bacteria, their prevalence in the community and providing support during disease outbreak investigations.
Hugo has an interest in identification and characterization of Gram-negative bacilli and has a high level of expertise in the phenotypic and molecular subtyping of clinical Salmonella, Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Yersinia spp. for surveillance purposes. These subtyping methods now often involve next-generation sequencing technology. However, he prefers to take into account the progression of methods and the contribution each make, or made, in identifying clusters during disease outbreak investigations. He takes a keen interest in the ability of novel technology to detect or speciate isolates from clinical samples.
He earned his BSc (Biology) at the University of Waikato and his MSc (Molecular Microbiology) at Victoria University of Wellington where he undertook a research project investigating the incidence of non-O157 STEC in the Canterbury region.
Currently Hugo is looking at the overall increase of pathogenic Yersinia in New Zealand. He aims to understand factors contributing to the of emergence of some strains isolated from clinical samples and the decline of others. He takes an interest in new Yersinia spp. characterised and the virulence factors, if any, associated with such species. Hugo has an extensive background in agriculture and is also involved in confirmatory testing of raw beef for export, for potentially pathogenic E. coli.
Read more about ESR's response to the 2014 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis outbreak.