close
close
blog

WHO updates list of most dangerous drug-resistant pathogens

For the first time in seven years, the World Health Organization has updated its list of the most dangerous and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. The revised list includes 24 pathogens from 15 different families of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The review was motivated by the growth of the problem. According to the May 17 report, there were approximately 4.95 million deaths caused by antibiotic resistance in 2019 alone in low- and middle-income countries.

“Despite current work, global antibiotic production is marked by limited innovation and limited global access to new and existing treatments,” the executive summary states. While the report is intended as a guide, WHO researchers also note that “…its application requires adaptation and contextualization to take into account regional differences in the distribution and ecology of bacterial pathogens, as well as variation in the vulnerable groups and the burden of (antimicrobial resistance).”

New this year is the inclusion of Gram-negative bacteria resistant to last resort antibiotics, to which the WHO draws special attention.

“In this update, Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to last resort antibiotics… are listed as a critical priority due to their ability to transfer resistance genes, the severity of the infections and diseases they cause, and/or their significant global burden,” the report states.

In its 2024 update, WHO removed five pathogens that were listed in 2017, including: penicillin non-susceptible Streptococcus pneumoniavancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureusresistant to fluoroquinolones Campylobacterclarithromycin resistant Helicobacter pylori, and resistant to third generation cephalosporins Providence.

There were three new additions to the list: Macrolide-resistant Group A StreptococciPenicillin resistant group B Streptococciand resistant to rifampin Mycobacterial tuberculosis.

The 15 priority antibiotic-resistant pathogen families to monitor in 2024 are organized into three categories: critical, high and medium threats.

Critical priority pathogens:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii – which is resistant to carbapenems
  • enterobacteria – which is resistant to third generation cephalosporins
  • enterobacteria – which is resistant to carbapenems
  • Mycobacterial tuberculosis – which is resistant to rifampicin

High priority pathogens:

  • Salmonella typhi – which is resistant to fluoroquinolones
  • Shigella spp. – which is resistant to fluoroquinolones
  • Enterococcus faecium – which is resistant to vancomycin
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa – which is resistant to carbapenems
  • Non-typhoid Salmonella – which is resistant to fluoroquinolones
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae — that is resistant to third generation cephalosporins and/or fluoroquinolones
  • Staphylococcus aureus – which is resistant to methicillin

Medium priority pathogens:

  • Group A Streptococcus – which is resistant to macrolides
  • Streptococcus pneumonia – which is resistant to macrolides
  • Haemophilus influenzae – which is resistant to ampicillin
  • group B streptococcus – which is resistant to penicillin

Related Articles

Back to top button