In the absence of a vaccine, current antibiotic-dependent efforts to reduce the prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in high prevalence populations have been shown to result in extremely high levels of antibiotic consumption. No randomized controlled trials have been conducted to validate this strategy and an important concern of this approach is that it may induce antimicrobial resistance. To contribute to this debate, we assessed if mass treatment in the related species, Neisseria meningitidis, was associated with the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. To this end, we conducted a historical review of the effect of mass meningococcal treatment programmes on the prevalence of N. meningitidis and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. We found evidence that mass treatment programmes were associated with the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.