Objectives To determine the effects of using discrete versus continuous quantities of people in a compartmental model examining the contribution of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to rebound in the prevalence of gonorrhoea.
Methods A previously published transmission model was reconfigured to represent the occurrence of gonorrhoea in discrete persons, rather than allowing fractions of infected individuals during simulations.
Results In the revised model, prevalence only rebounded under scenarios reproduced from the original paper when AMR occurrence was increased by 105 times. In such situations, treatment of high-risk individuals yielded outcomes very similar to those resulting from treatment of low-risk and intermediate-risk individuals. Otherwise, in contrast with the original model, prevalence was the lowest when the high-risk group was treated, supporting the current policy of targeting treatment to high-risk groups.
Conclusions Simulation models can be highly sensitive to structural features. Small differences in structure and parameters can substantially influence predicted outcomes and policy prescriptions, and must be carefully considered.
- NEISSERIA GONORRHOEA
- MATHEMATICAL MODEL
- ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
- ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE