Group A Streptococcal Research

Project Details

The Group A Streptococcal (GAS) research group focuses on disease caused by “strep”, that is, Streptococcus pyogenes, as well as neglected tropical infections such as scabies. The team uses laboratory and field-based approaches to investigate and test new diagnostic, treatment, and control strategies. Researchers aim to better understand the immunology and epidemiology of GAS. Focusing on the disease burden in developing countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The group is working toward the development of a global GAS vaccine in collaboration with national and international partners. Group a streptococcus causes a wide range of clinical disease, from sore throat and skin sores, to serious invasive infections and post-infectious complications including:

  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis

The team is led by Associate Professor Andrew Steer

  • Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for International Child Health at the University of Melbourne
  • Theme Director of Infection and Immunity at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Group Leader of the Group A Streptococcal Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Paediatric infectious diseases physician in the Department of General Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Founding committee member and current Chair of the International Alliance for the Control of Scabies

Taken together, the diseases caused by GAS are a major cause of death and disability globally, especially in developing countries, leading to more than 500,000 premature deaths each year. The team's broad program of GAS research spans a variety of disciplines including epidemiology, public health, clinical science, and laboratory-based science.

As part of the Melbourne Children’s campus partnership between the University of Melbourne, the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Pneumococcal Research team is embedded within the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.



  • Associate Professor Andrew Steer, Group leader and Principal Research Fellow
  • Professor Pierre Smeesters, Honorary Principal Research Fellow
  • Dr Samantha Colquhoun, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Dr Daniel Engelman, PhD Candidate and Research Fellow
  • Dr Myra Hardy, PhD Candidate and Program Manager
  • Dr Joshua Osowicki, PhD Candidate


  • Ciara Baker, Research Assistant
  • Kristy Azzopardi, Research Assistant
  • Hannah Frost, PhD Candidate
  • Frances Oppedisano, Laboratory Manager


  • Dr Trish Campbell, Research Fellow - Modelling
  • Michael Lydamore - PhD Candidate - Modelling

Research Publications

For an up to date list of publications please click here.

Research Group

Centre for International Child Health

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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