June 14. 2024. 12:53

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WHO warns of intensified antimicrobial resistance, updating priority pathogen list


The EU’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) has welcomed publication of the updated World Health Organisation Bacterial Priority Pathogens List (WHO BPPL).

The guide is seen as vital to directing research investment in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Building on the 2017 edition, the 2024 WHO BPPL updates and categorises antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens into critical, high, and medium-priority groups.

“Antimicrobial resistance jeopardises our ability to effectively treat high-burden infections, such as tuberculosis, leading to severe illness and increased mortality rates,” said Dr Jérôme Salomon, Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO.

The list covers 24 pathogens from 15 different families of AMR. The list includes antimicrobial-resistant tuberculosis, salmonella, and gonorrhea.

The list also underscores the need of those working in public health to warn of the risk of transmissibility, treatability, and prevention options for different diseases.

“By mapping the global burden of drug-resistant bacteria and assessing their impact on public health, this list is key to guiding investment and grappling with the antibiotics pipeline and access crisis,” said Dr Yukiko Nakatani, interim Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO. Nakatani notes that the threat of AMR has intensified and that erosion of its efficacy places the gains of modern medicine at risk.

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