The world is running out of antibiotics: WHO Report

Sep 20, 2017 15:58 IST

The World Health Organisation on 20 September 2017 released a report titled 'Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis'.

The report shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

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Highlights of the Report
• Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions.
• There are very few potential treatment options for antibiotic-resistant infections posing the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant Tuberculosis which kills around 250 000 people each year.
• It identifies 12 classes of priority pathogens. Some of them cause common infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections that are resistant to existing antibiotics.
• The report also identifies 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development that can treat antibiotic-resistant pathogens, tuberculosis and diarrhoeal infection Clostridium difficile.
• Among all these medicines, only 8 are classed by WHO as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal.
• There are also very few oral antibiotics under development yet these are essential formulations for treating infections outside hospitals.
• New treatments alone will not be sufficient to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance. WHO is developing guidance for the responsible use of antibiotics in the human, animal and agricultural sectors.

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