WHO releases list of most dangerous superbugs

Public Health

28 Feb 2017

The World Health Organisation has published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” – a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health.

Professor Peter Collignon, an Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist from the Australian National University said the list will help pharmaceutical companies, researchers, drug regulators and governments to set priorities for research.

“Antibiotic resistance is an ever growing problem. In the developing world half of some common infections such as E.coli are now untreatable with available agents.

The most resistant bacteria presently are Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas plus bowel bacteria such as E.coli and Klebsiella. The WHO list gives appropriate priority to the different bacteria,” he said.

WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics

Priority 1: CRITICAL
Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing
Priority 2: HIGH
Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant
Priority 3: MEDIUM
Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

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