The World Health Organization has published the first list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which includes the twelve deadliest families, and that highlights the threat posed by bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics.
It is divided into three categories according to the urgency with which new drugs are required. The critical priority group includes very dangerous bacteria in hospitals, nursing homes and patients treated with ventilators or intravenous catheters.
Funds are needed to investigate new antibiotics
Among the bacteria listed are Acinetobacter, pseudomonas and several whole bacteria that can cause serious blood infections or pneumonias. High priority categories include bacteria such as helicobacter pylori or others that cause common diseases such as salmonella food poisoning or gonorrhea.
Marie-Paule Kieny, deputy director general of WHO for innovation health systems, has urged governments to "commit funds" to research new antibiotics:
Antibiotic resistance is increasing and we are running out of therapeutic options very quickly. If we leave the problem exclusively at the mercy of market forces, the new antibiotics we most urgently need will not be ready on time.