Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Are A "Global Health Emergency"

The World Could Be Running Out Of Antibiotics

In fact, the majority of the drugs in the pipeline are "modifications of existing classes of antibiotics", and thus, "are only short-term solutions", according to the press release.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the world is "running out of effective antibiotics" and described antimicrobial resistance as a "global health emergency".

They are increasingly drug resistant and urgently in need of new treatments.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of World Health Organization, said: 'There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB - otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery'.

The research said that there are now 51 new antibiotic and biological products at clinical trial stage to treat resistant pathogens as a priority, as well as tuberculosis and diarrheal infection. "This is especially problematic because treatment of TB infections requires a combination of at least three antibiotics", according to the report.

Among the newly identified 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development, only eight are classed by World Health Organization as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal, it said.

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But drug development is lagging behind, especially for drug-resistant tuberculosis and other infections the WHO has designated as high priority, the United Nations health agency said.

This means clinicians don't have enough treatment options for drug-resistant bacteria, including Acinetobacter and Enterobacteriaceae (such as Klebsiella and E.coli), which can cause severe and often deadly infections that pose a particular threat in hospitals and nursing homes.

As of this May, there are 51 antibiotics and 11 biologicals, or medical products made from natural sources, being developed, CNN reports. The report also says that few of these are oral antibiotics, which are better for wider access outside of hospital settings.

Dr Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme added: "If we are to end TB, more than $800m per year is urgently needed to fund research for new anti-TB medicines".

Researchers are working on new antibiotics, but so far, few are good enough to add to the existing antibiotic treatment stockpiles. Overuse or incorrect use of antibiotics are key contributing factors, as is antibiotic use in animals that are then consumed by humans. And because drug development is a drawn-out process, most of it unsuccessful, current efforts could result in only about 10 new approvals in the next five years, the report said.

Earlier this month the Government and the British reserach charity the Wellcome Trust joined Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland to pledge more than 56 million Euros to the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership.

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