Published: Чт, Марта 02, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

WHO lists 12 superbugs threatening human health


The principal criteria used by the scientists at the World Health Organization for introducing new bacteria to the list of "critical priorities" have to do with how much risk do they represent to human populations across the globe.

Classified on a tri-level scale - medium, high, or critical - the agency said the bacteria are resistant to numerous now available antibiotics.

"We see - with alarming regularity - the critical-listed bacterial infections in people we treat in our field programmes, including babies and children, burns victims and conflict and trauma injuries", said Rupa Kanapathipillai, the body's adviser on antimicrobial resistance. He also called for continued funding of government-driven antibiotic development efforts-such as those led by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority-and further incentives for private research, including tax credits. What you're really doing is basically setting up a training camp for bacteria, helping them to adapt and breed descendants more resistant to antibiotics.

"The (drug) pipeline is practically dry", Kieny said during a press conference, adding that new antibiotics are hard to develop. Three "medium" priority organisms all are susceptible to some drugs, but are increasingly becoming resistant.

Tim Jinks, head of drug resistant infections at the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said within a generation there could be up to 10 million deaths a year from drug resistant infections without new antibiotics.

The WHO named six other pathogens as "high priority", including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (aka MRSA) and antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

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The WHO officials said that the list released by the health organisation is divided into three categories, and its prime objective is to guide and promote research and development of new drugs to assist in fighting these superbugs. Wealthier countries created this global crisis, excessively using antibiotics, which resulted in the nasties that we have today.

While releasing the list to spur R&D, the World Health Organization emphasizes that more is needed to fight antibiotic resistance-specifically, improved prevention control and appropriate use of antibiotics.

They can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia, according to WHO. However, the study showed how the bacteria listed as "critical priorities" are not affected in a considerable way by the use of the drug in patients.

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. According to a new study, the number of hospitalized children in the US infected with a bacteria resistant to multiple types of antibiotic drugs surged between 2007 and 2015.

Once considered manageable with antibiotics, drug-resistant strains are on the rise again in developing nations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Numerous bacteria listed are already resistant to multiple antibiotics. Just last month, for instance, a woman in Nevada died of an infection with a so-called CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaciae.

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