The World Health Organization said on Monday that governments, scientists and pharmaceutical companies have to develop new antibiotics to fight a dozen unsafe families of bacteria that can resist deadly super-bugs.
If they invest now, she added, governments will need to spend less later "when resistance to antibiotics develops into an even deeper crisis".
The list is meant to spur governments to put in place policies that incentivise basic science and advanced research and development by both publicly funded agencies and the private sector investing in new antibiotic discovery. The list is divided into "critical", "high", and "medium" priorities, based on how urgent the need for new antibiotics to treat the bug is.
These pathogens, dubbed "the dirty dozen" by NPR, include three families of multidrug resistant bacteria which post a critical threat - especially in hospitals and nursing homes, according to the WHO.
The development of the list has been achieved through an extensive review of the evidence and surveillance data from all World Health Organization regions.
Once this happens, these bacteria become "resistant" the to antibiotic to which they have been exposed, which means the antibiotic can not kill the bacteria or stop them from multiplying. However, what few new antibiotics have been worked on in recent years have typically been focussed on gram-positive bacteria.
Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant: This is the Joker of bacteria.
The WHO stated that antibiotic-resistant bacteria is present in all the countries of the world, as the diseases caused by the micro-organisms are responsible for over 700,000 deaths annually.
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WHO consider it a new tool to ensure that R&D responds to this serious issue of public health, said Dr. Marie-PauleKieny, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation. Bacteria in this category cause infections that are less deadly than the three critical-level bugs, but they are much more widespread.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced twelve types of bacteria that are considered "priorities" and in need of new antibiotics to treat.
The global organization is recommending governments worldwide and pharmaceutical companies to list these bacterias as the priorities when developing antibiotics to be offered to the public. Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant 9. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistantPriority 3: Medium10.
The criteria used included: the deadliness of the pathogen; the length of hospitalization they cause; frequency of resistance to antibiotics when spread in the community; ease of spread in animals, from animals to humans, and among humans; how easy it is to prevent infection; how many treatment options are available; and whether new drugs to tackle them are already in development.
We could see a return to the days of fatal bacterial infections as more bacteria develop resistance to drugs.
They can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia, according to WHO. They didn't include some very unsafe bacteria for which there are already specialized programs in place - such is the case of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Fowler cited the IDSA-supported 21st Century Cures Act, which includes a provision that would help speed new antibiotics to market, as a step in the right direction for antibiotic development.
Will the list spur more funding for research into antibiotic development and infection control?