World Health Organisation publishes list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are needed

December 13, 2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have published a list of pathogens that are thought to pose the greatest risk to human health due to their increasing resistance to antibiotics.

The list includes 12 families of bacteria and will be used to promote research and development (R&D) into new antibiotics in an attempt to tackle the increasing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

Gram-negative bacteria pose the greatest risk to human health as this type of bacteria have the ability to resist treatment that uses multiple antibiotics, while passing on genetic material that allows other bacteria to also become drug-resistant.

The list created by the WHO is split into three groups that are reflective of the urgency for new antibiotics; critical, high and medium priority. The critical category includes bacteria that are found in hospitals, such as Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas, which can cause severe and potentially deadly infections. The high and medium categories contain other drug-resistant bacteria, such as Salmonella, that is the cause of diseases such as food poisoning.

The criteria used to create the list can be seen below:

  • How deadly is the infection caused by the bacteria
  • Does treatment of the bacteria require long hospital stays
  • How frequently are the bacteria resistant to antibiotics
  • How easily does the bacteria spread between animals and people
  • How many treatment options remain
  • Are new antibiotics to treat the bacteria already in the R&D pipeline

The list of antibiotic-resistant pathogens will be used by the government to create and implement new policies that promote the research and development into new antibiotics.

Perfectus Biomed possess the below priority organisms, as listed by the WHO, in our culture collection:

Acinetobacter baumannii NCTC 13301

Pseudomonas aeruginosa NCTC 13437

Enterobacter cloacae NCTC 13464

Enterococcus faecium (VRE) ATCC 700221

Staphylococcus aureus NCTC 13142

Helicobacter pylori NCTC 13207

Campylobacter coli ATCC BAA-371

Salmonella enteritidis NCTC 13349

Neisseria gonorrhoeae NCTC 13480

Streptococcus pneumoniae ATCC BAA-343

Haemophilus influenzae NCTC 12699

Shigella sonnei NCTC 8219*


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