BACKGROUND: No randomized controlled trial (RCT) has compared the impact on the resistome of ceftriaxone (CRO) plus azithromycin (AZM) vs CRO for the treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoea (NG).
METHODS: This was an open-label, single-center, RCT comparing the effect on the resistome of CRO plus AZM vs CRO for the treatment of NG. Men who have sex with men (MSM) with genital, anorectal, or pharyngeal NG infection were randomized into the CRO/AZM and CRO arms. Oral rinse and anorectal samples were taken for culture and resistome profiling at 2 visits (baseline and day 14). The primary outcome was the ratio of mean macrolide resistance determinants in anorectal samples from day 14 between arms.
RESULTS: Twenty individuals were randomized into the CRO/AZM arm and 22 into the CRO arm. We found no significant difference in the mean macrolide resistance determinants in the day 14 anorectal samples between arms (ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.55-1.83; P = .102). The prevalence of baseline macrolide resistance was high (CRO/AZM arm = 95.00%; CRO arm = 90.91%).
CONCLUSIONS: We could not demonstrate a significant effect of dual CRO/AZM therapy on the resistome compared with CRO alone, likely due to a high baseline resistance to AZM. Interventions to prevent the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in MSM are needed.