The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a list that prioritizes antibiotic-resistant pathogens in order to guide research and development of new antimicrobial agents. The WHO’s review determined that the antibiotics currently under development are insufficient to mitigate the threat of antibiotic resistance.
The WHO assigned the highest global priority for research and development of treatment of tuberculosis. The critical priority pathogens are carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, P aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae. The high-priority pathogens include Enterococcus faecium, S Aureus, Helicobacter pylori, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Medium priority has been assigned to S pneumoniae, H influenzae, and Shigella. Clostridium difficile was not listed as a priority pathogen, because the infection is addressed with infection prevention, control, and stewardship measures.
Pharmacologic research has provided entirely new classes of antibiotics that offer additional treatment options for emerging resistant bacterial strains. Most of these newer drugs are targeted against resistant strains of gram-positive bacteria.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 1 - Update on General Medicine. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.