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Doctors Without Borders Statement on WHO List of Antibiotic-Resistant "Priority Pathogens"

This week, the World Health Organization published a list of "priority pathogens"-bacteria families with severe and unsafe antibiotic resistance-for the first time". As infections reach alarming proportions, creating new antibiotics to urgently address the need for treatment of such diseases should be developed as early as possible. World Health Organization officials hope that this list we will spur research and development of new antibiotics.

"The WHO list's high priority category includes CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which is known as the:nightmare bacteria" in the US.

Classified on a tri-level scale - medium, high, or critical - the agency said the bacteria are resistant to numerous now available antibiotics.

Tuberculosis, which is fast becoming resistant to traditional therapies, was excluded from the list since it is targeted by other unique medical programs. "Hopefully this will focus efforts on these areas of greatest need", said Dr. Andrew Edwards, a molecular microbiologist at Imperial College London, who believes governments must also set policies in place to support drug development. The bacteria have built in qualities to find new methods to resist the treatment, passing along genetic material, allowing other bacteria to be drug resistant like them.

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Tim Jinks, head of drug resistant infections at the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said within a generation there could be up to 10 million deaths a year from drug resistant infections without new antibiotics. These bacteria have become so resistant to antibiotics that procedures such as organ transplantation, caesarean sections, joint replacements and chemotherapy might simply be too risky to perform. The critical priority group lists bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa - these three are resistant to the powerful antibiotic carbapenem. "We can take action and turn the tide - or lose the drugs we have". "We hope that it will drive governments and research groups working in antibiotic development to set the right research priorities that will reduce the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections globally". In fact, researchers suspect drug-resistant bacteria, like those named in the "priorities" list by World Health Organization, will kill 10 million people in the next 33 years.

CDC Atlanta, which houses one of world's most advanced laboratories, conducted tests on the woman's wound specimen later and confirmed the presence of New Delhi Metallo-Beta-Lactamase (NDM) - a superbug that makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Using diagnostic and billing claim codes, they identified diagnoses of infections with Enterobacteriaceae, a bacterial family that includes salmonella, Escherichia coli and Shigella, among many others. Well, all of them pose risks and are high priority, but this is the priority ranking of the high priority.

Experts have repeatedly warned about these infections and how they remain to be untreatable with today's existing drugs and antibiotics. This is carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing strains that can cause serious infections in the lungs, blood, and urine. He said the list would be an important tool to steer research.

One of the infections at the top is a bacterium called Klebsiella that has recently developed resistance to a powerful class of antibiotics called carbapenems.

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