Contemporary strategies to curtail the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae include screening for and treating asymptomatic infections in high-prevalence populations in whom antimicrobial drug-resistant infections have typically emerged. We argue that antimicrobial resistance in these groups is driven by a combination of dense sexual network connectivity and antimicrobial drug exposure (for example, through screen-and-treat strategies for asymptomatic N. gonorrhoeae infection). Sexual network connectivity sustains a high-equilibrium prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae and increases likelihood of reinfection, whereas antimicrobial drug exposure results in selection pressure for reinfecting N. gonorrhoeae strains to acquire antimicrobial resistance genes from commensal pharyngeal or rectal flora. We propose study designs to test this hypothesis.
- TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
- PREEXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS