Christopher Kenyon
  • Nationalestraat 155

    2000 Antwerp


  • Nationalestraat

    2000 Antwerpen



Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Chris Kenyon is currently head of the STI Unit at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp.

In addition to his post here, he works as an Infectious Diseases Physician at the University Hospital Antwerp and at the University of Cape Town. He trained as an Infectious Diseases specialist at the University of Cape Town, and has also trained in Public Health (LSHTM), politics, philosophy, economics (Oxford) and completed his PhD in Epidemiology (Uni Antwerp).

His research interests include better understanding and preventing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through stewardship and novel antimicrobial-sparing strategies such as bacteriocins, bacteriophage therapy and use of antiseptics.

His unit is currently mapping the patterning of AMR in commensal Neisseria, with the intention of using commensal Neisseria as early warning systems for excessive antimicrobial consumption.

He has a number of projects using G. mellonella, mouse and human studies to investigate if low the doses of antimicrobials allowed in food are able to induce and select for AMR in a range of target bacterial species.

He is currently PI of a number of clinical studies including:

1. GonoScreen Study (NCT04269434) which is an RCT assessing if screening MSM on PrEP for gonorrhoea/chlamydia is associated with a reduction in the cumulative incidence of these infections;

2. ResistAZM Study (NCT05027516), an RCT comparing the efficacy of ceftriaxone versus ceftriaxone plus azithromycin for the treatment of gonorrhoea,

3. MoNg Study – efficacy of chlorhexidine mouthwash to treat pharyngeal N. gonorrhoeae.

4. SafeDoxyPEP Study – what is the effect of doxycycline post exposure prophylaxis on antimicrobial resistance in a range of target bacterial species

Research expertise


This unit was established in January 2012. 

Research in the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Unit is focussed on improving the detection and management of STIs as well as preventing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in STIs. Key activities include:

  • Evaluate the efficacy of novel STI prevention interventions in the Belgian context eg doxycycline post exposure prophylaxis
  • Develop novel treatment strategies for resistant STIs such as N. gonorrhoeae and M. genitalium
    • Ecological studies of the association between network conectivity + antimicrobial consumption vs. AMR
    • Observational studies of changes in antimicrobial consumption in high network connectivity populations and subequent changes in AMR
    • PReGo Study - Preventing the emergence of resistance in gonorrhoea Study. We aim to assess in this RCT if we can reduce the cumulative incidence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis throught he use of a commercially available mouthwash product
    • Gonoscreen RCT of 3 site 3monthly screening for N. gonorrhoea/C. trachomatis vs no screening in higher risk MSM
    • ResistAZM RCT: RCT comparing ceftriaxone Vs. ceftriaxone + azithromycin for the management of N. gonorrhoeae infection
    • In vitro testing of the theory in an N. gonorrhoea morbidostat
    • We have developed a mathematical (STERGM) model of N gonorrhoeae transmission that enables include probability of the emergence of AMR depending on screening and treatment strategy. We are using this to better optimise STI screening and treatment strategies to minimize the risk of emergence of antimicrobial resistance
  • Develop a surveillance system using commensal Neisseria species as an early warning system of excessive antimicrobial consumption in key populations
  • Evaluate the lowest concentrations of various antimicrobials that can select for AMR in a range of bacterial species (minimum selection concentrations – MSC). Our results reveal that residual antimicrobial concentrations in food could select for AMR.
  • Testing the pharmacoecological theory of AMR. This theory postulates that the reason why AMR in organisms such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae frequently emerges in core-groups such as sex workers and MSM is due to a combination of a dense sex network and high rates of consumption of antimicrobials. The high network connectivity generates a high prevalence of the STI and the antimicrobial consumption then places a selection pressure for the emergence of AMR. We are testing this theory through the following strategies:
  • We are evaluating alternative antibiotic combinations, screening policies on the emergence of resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. 
  • We are investigating the utility of various bacteriocins to treat N. gonorrhoeae and other pathogens
  • We have developed a Galleria mellonella model of N. gonorrhoeae infection which enables us to test treatment combinations
  • SeTPAT. The search for a Treponema pallidum antigen test. We are using MS/MS and MRM to detect the presence of various T pallidum antigens in the sera of 120 patients with a new diagnosis of syphilis. We aim to develop an ELISA that can detect T pallidum antigen via this approach

 His teaching assignments include : 

  • Teaching the STI topics of TMCDM 
  • Teaching MPH at the University of Cape Town
  • Teaching the I3DC course at the University of Antwerp
  • Supervision of Masters andPhD candidates at ITM and UWC.

Education/Academic qualification

PHD, Doctor

Award Date: 27-May-2012

MPH, Master

Award Date: 26-May-2000

External positions

Lecturer, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town

30-Jan-2002 → …


  • B500-immunology
  • S211-sociology-of-science


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