BEST WEB HOSTING SAVE A BUNDLE YEARLY YEARLY HOSTING AT IT'S BEST Hide
Show

“Antibiotic resistance is growing and we are running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health systems and innovation.

Notably missing from the list is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. That was not included, Kieny said, because the need for new antibiotics to treat it has already been designated the highest priority.

Although mounting concerns about the worsening problem of antibiotic resistance have reinvigorated research efforts, producing new antibiotics is an expensive and challenging task.

The international team of experts who drew up the new list urged researchers and pharmaceutical companies to focus their efforts on a type of bacteria known as Gram negatives. (The terminology relates to how the bacteria respond to a stain — developed by Hans Christian Gram — used to make them easier to see under a microscope.)

Kieny said the 12 bacteria featured on the priority list were chosen based on the level of drug resistance that already exists for each, the numbers of deaths they cause, the frequency with which people become infected with them outside of hospitals, and the burden these infections place on health care systems.

Paradoxically, though, she and colleagues from the WHO could not provide an estimate of the annual number of deaths attributable to antibiotic-resistant infections. The international disease code system does not currently include a code for antibiotic-resistant infections; it is being amended to include one.

Six others were listed as high priority for new antibiotics. That grouping represents bacteria that cause a large number of infections in otherwise healthy people. Included there is the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, for which there are almost no remaining effective treatments.

Three other bacteria were listed as being of medium priority, because they are becoming increasingly resistant to available drugs. This group includes Streptococcus pneumoniae that is not susceptible to penicillin. This bacterium causes pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, as well as meningitis and blood infections.

The creation of the list was applauded by others working to combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Notably missing from the list is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. That was not included, Kieny said, because the need for new antibiotics to treat it has already been designated the highest priority.

Top