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World Health Organization issues stark warning on global antibiotics supply
January 19 2018, 01:41 | Rex Rios
WHO is warning that antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency
A report, Antibacterial agents in clinical development launched by World Health Organization today stresses on a serious concern of lack of new antibiotics under development to fight the growing threat of antimicrobial resistanc.
There is an urgent need for more investment into the research and development of antibiotic-resistant infections such as TB, says the WHO's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Most of the drugs now being developed to combat antimicrobial resistance are only modifications of existing antibiotics which are just short-term solutions.
Too few antibiotics are in the pipeline to tackle the global crisis of drug resistance, which is responsible for the rise of nearly untreatable infections around the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns.
As of this May, there are 51 antibiotics and 11 biologicals, or medical products made from natural sources, being developed, CNN reports.
They are increasingly drug resistant and urgently in need of new treatments.
However, it is not on antibiotics alone - preventing the spread of infection of these diseases is now emore important than ever.
Ed Whiting, director of policy at the Wellcome Trust agreed and said: "There is no doubt of the urgency - the world is running out of effective antibiotics and drug-resistant infections already kill 700,000 people a year globally".
"Research for tuberculosis is seriously underfunded, with only two new antibiotics for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis having reached the market in over 70 years", Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Program, said.
WHO. Antibacterial agents in clinical development - an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
In an effort to address these neglected areas of drug development, World Health Organization has joined up with the nonprofit Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, to create the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, and several countries have collectively pledged over 56 million dollars to go towards this effort.
The agency also singled out gram-negative pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli, as "the most critical priority for antibiotic research and development" because "strains are emerging worldwide that can not be treated with any of the antibiotics now on the market".