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WHO updates list of priority bacterial pathogens

Geneva, May 17 (Prensa Latina) A new list of priority bacterial pathogens with a list of guidelines and treatments necessary to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance was presented today by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The list includes 15 families of antibiotic-resistant bacteria classified into three categories (critical, high and medium) to facilitate the establishment of priorities.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when these drugs lose their activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites; and as a consequence, the diseases they cause are more serious and the risk of spreading and transmission to more people increases, causing more morbidity and mortality.

Among the causes of this reaction is the excessive and improper use of antibacterials, which is why new tests and information were incorporated into the updated list, provided by experts that will be useful to carry out research and development of new antibiotics, promote international coordination and promote innovation.

WHO Acting Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance, Yukiko Nakatani, said that to develop the list of priority bacterial pathogens, the global burden of infections due to drug-resistant bacteria was determined and their impact on public health was also analyzed.

In her opinion, this is a fundamental relationship to guide investment and overcome the obstacles that make it difficult to obtain access to new antibiotics.

The threat of antimicrobial resistance has increased since the first list was published in 2017, undermining the effectiveness of many antibiotics and potentially undoing many achievements of modern medicine, she added.

The 2024 list emphasizes the need for a comprehensive public health approach to addressing antimicrobial resistance, including universal access to quality and affordable measures to prevent, diagnose and correctly treat infections.