WHO: These 12 bacteria pose greatest risk to human health

Source: CNN
By Meera Senthilingam, CNN

(CNN)Twelve types of bacteria were deemed “priorities” in urgent need of new antibiotics, according to a list released by the World Health Organization on Monday.

The first list of its kind, it highlights bacteria that global health experts believe pose the greatest threats to human health. The WHO is calling on governments and pharmaceutical companies to prioritize the development of new drugs against them.
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.

Hospital acquired infections

Topping the list were bacteria classed as “gram negative” bacteria, which have already shown resistance to multiple drugs.

These include Acinetobacter baumannii and pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are predominantly linked to hospital-acquired infections or infections in healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, and in patients who require equipment such as ventilators or blood catheters, which can become contaminated.
Enterobacteriaceae, which include bacteria such as E.coli and klebsiella, were listed third and also pose a greater threat in healthcare settings.
“These bacteria are responsible for high mortality rates,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s assistant director-general for health systems and innovation. “New, effective therapies are imperative.”

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