To this end, G20 health experts will convene later this week in Berlin, Germany to discuss the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the need for more effective, newer drugs.
The list appeared through a bid that was arranged for research development in the area of new antibiotics. The highest priority is for bacteria listed in the critical category, including multidrug resistant types that pose a significant threat in hospitals and nursing homes and among patients who require medical devices like ventilators and catheters. The crucial drugs are unlikely to be big moneymakers for companies that develop them, she notes, so governments and health agencies need to cooperate to boost the chances that they will be developed in time. The most risky strains have recently acquired resistance to a class of antibiotics called carbapenems, the only group that still killed them effectively. In addition, the list will guide the WHO/Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership, which was set up last may be promote the not-for-profit development of new antibiotics.
The WHO said it could not provide estimates on how many people die from being infected by these pathogens, because worldwide codes for disease now don't account for deaths caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. These include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Salmonella (responsible for food-poisoning) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the sexually transmitted bacteria responsible for gonorrhoea).
"It costs a lot of money to develop a drug, so the World Health Organization releasing this list of urgent priority bugs is an important call to action to develop new antibiotics to prevent more deaths", she said.
"This list is a new tool to ensure R&D responds to urgent public health needs", Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, said in a press release.
Colorectal cancer rates rising sharply among Gen X and millennials
They rose about three per cent per year from 1974 to 2013 in adults aged 20 to 29 and from 1980 to 2013 in adults aged 30 to 39. Among people 40 to 54, rectal cancer rates increased by 2 percent annually from the 1990s to 2013.
Why are bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics?They are carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, along with all members of the Enterobacteriaceae family resistant to both carbapenems and third-generation cephalosporins. "We can take action and turn the tide - or lose the drugs we have".
Leading the list were bacteria classified as "gram negative" bacteria, or those which have already shown resistance to various drugs.
Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant: Campy may describe the original Batman television series but there's nothing fun about "the most common bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis in the world", according to the WHO.
Factors used to determine the bacteria posing the most risk included the levels of resistance seen already, the mortality rates of these bacteria today, their prevalence out in communities and the burden they place on health systems. They can cause deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia. World Health Organization agreed with TB being a lead priority but left it off the list as it has its own arm of specific research and development to address the issue. Not getting vaccinated means more possible cases, which leads to more antibiotic use, which may lead to more antibiotic-resistance. This is carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing strains that can cause serious infections in the lungs, blood, and urine.
To address resistance, there must be better prevention of infections and appropriate use of existing antibiotics in humans and animals, as well as rational use of new antibiotics.