Purpose of Review: To emphasize key gaps in knowledge impacting efforts to control single infection and co-infections with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide.
Recent Findings: Clinical and epidemiological studies describe gaps in understanding about female rectal CT infection, screening effectiveness, pelvic inflammatory disease, and influence of the microbiome. For NG, gaps in knowledge include factors increasing incidence in men who have sex with men, correlations between treatment and antibiotic resistance, the role of pharyngeal infection, and microbiome influence. CT/NG co-infections are poorly understood, and adequate models to explore pathophysiological consequences of co-infection urgently needed. The sole existing CT/NG co-infection mouse model showed that CT/NG interactions in vivo modulate host response and NG load/shedding—encouraging further consideration of this model and potential alternatives.
Summary: We stress key challenges in controlling these important STIs. Appropriate, quality-assured animal models are essential to improve understanding of the pathogenic interplay in CT/NG co-infections.