Earlier this week, the WHO published a list of the most dangerous superbugs. These drug-resistant bacteria are becoming an increasingly bigger threat. As such, WHO stresses the need for antibiotics that can defeat them.
Over the past few years, the number of bacteria to develop a resistance to antibiotics has been increasing. According to the CDC, around 23,000 die each year in the United States, because of a multidrug-resistant infection.
At a global level, the number rises to 700,000 people each year. This is according to The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, a British report. But the full scale is hard to determine as some consider that many such cases go undetected or undeclared.
As the threat keeps increasing, the WHO released a list of the most dangerous superbugs. The WHO is the World Health Organization. In its report, the organization divided the bacteria into three categories. These ranked each superbug in accordance to its priority. Or more exactly, its degree of resistance to the available treatments.
WHO’s list of most dangerous superbugs was released on Monday, February 27th. And according to the organization, is purpose is quite clear. It means to draw attention to the need for new treatments. One that could combat these antibiotics-resistant bacteria.
WHO is reportedly hoping that its report will generate a reaction from the pharmaceutical industry. One which will lead to the aforementioned new treatments. Presently, this may be especially needed as the bacteria seem to be changing. The WHO report considers that they are growing a resistance to an increasingly higher number of drugs.
WHO” list of most dangerous superbugs is divided into three categories. The first is the “Critical Priority” one, which includes 3 bacteria families. These are the Acinetobacter, various Enterobacteriaceae, and the Pseudomonas.
Such bacteria are reportedly quite common in nursing homes and hospitals. They can cause pneumonia or deadly bloodstream infections, along with other deadly infections, as stated in the report.
These bacteria have already become resistant to quite a number of antibiotics, including the best yet available treatments for multi-drug resistant infections.
A second class was the “High Priority”, which includes 6 bacteria families. These include strains of Campylobacter, Salmonellae, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. And also the Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, as well as the Enterococcus faecium.
Just as the “Medium Priority”, which comes next, this category includes superbugs which are capable of causing more common disease. Gonorrhea and food poisoning were offered as an example.
The “Medium Priority” class includes just three bacteria. These are the Streptococcus pneumoniae, the Haemophilus influenza, and the Shigella spp. Such drug-resistant bacteria can cause anything from the bacterial flu, dysentery, meningitis, or ear infections.
The WHO ended its report by also pointing out the following. More action would have to be taken in order to prevent the development of superbugs. A new treatment would be needed. But addressing this resistance should also include the following. Better infection prevention methods should be established. And the current use of antibiotics should be reviewed.
This review should also be applied and taken into consideration when using the future new treatments. A complete list of indications and details about the list can be consulted on the WHO website.
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