WHO: New Antibiotics Urgently Needed to Fight 12 "Priority Bacteria"

Author: John
Time: 2017/3/1 13:46:14

Twelve "priority bacteria" have been deemed as the greatest threats to human health, the World Health Organization declared on Monday, warning new effective antibiotics are imperative to fight these priority pathogens. According to the United National health agency, many of these bacteria have become fatal superbugs which are immune to many kinds of antibiotics.

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The WHO is calling global governments and pharmaceutical companies to focus efforts on the research and development of new antibiotics. Government policies are greatly needed to boost investigation and to incentivize basic and advanced R&D.

"If pharmaceutical companies are going to take this job by themselves, the new antibiotics in deadly urgency would not be found in time." Said Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO's assistant director-general for health system and innovation, "There is no point in developing new drugs if policies are not put in place."

Globally, the risk of drug-resisted bacteria has become increasingly alarming in recent years. Drug-resisted pathogens are assumedly to cause 700,000 deaths every year. The statistics are expected to rise up to 10 million annually by 2050.

According to how urgently new antibiotics are needed, the "priority pathogens" has been divided into three levels - critical, high and medium.

Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Enterobacteriaceae are listed in critical group. The top three are untreatable, even Colistin, the drug of the last-resort have also failed in some cases. They are deadly bacteria responsible for high mortality rates and severe diseases like pneumonia and septicemia.

The second and third groups include other bacteria which cause more common diseases like salmonella and gonorrhea. They have shown increasingly resistance towards some drugs, but some methods still work against them. Compared to the first group, they are less dangerous thus have more options of treatment.

The issue of antibiotic resistance has been deemed as a potential global threat. Commissioned by the UK government, a study focused on targeting the problem completed last year with a list of priorities. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly has addressed related issues to raise more attention. An independent research on bacteria resistance has also been published last year.

“There could be up to 10 million deaths each year because of drug resistance within a generation.” Said Tim Jinks, director of drug resistance of the Welcome Trust global health charity ,”Without new therapy to dealing with looming threat, organ transplant, chemotherapy, hip replacement, all those operations for lifesaving and routine treatment would be potentially fatal.”                     

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