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WHO Releases Top 12 List of Worst Superbugs

Update Date: Feb 28, 2017 07:30 AM EST

Top 12 of the worst superbugs, resistant to antibiotics and other drugs were drawn up by the World Health Organization and shared to the public. These bacteria are being treated as the biggest threat to human health.

BCC enumerates the World Health Organizations top 12 superbugs. The list is divided into three categories; critical, high priority, and medium priority. The list will be further discussed ahead of this summer's G20 meeting that will be hosted in Germany. To be able to focus on finding new antibiotics to fight against these superbugs, an early release of the list was posted prior to the event.

Shigella spp., a diarrhoeal disease that can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure is included in the medium priority list. Other bacteria that falls into the category includes Streptococcus pneumoniae, a penicillin non-susceptible bacteria that causes meningitis, chest infections and poisoning as well as Heamophilus influenza, ampicillin resistant and can also lead to chest infections, meningitis, blood poisoning, skin infections, and join infections.

The high priority category has the most number of bacteria on its list which includes the Enterococcus faecium, a vancomycin-resistant bug that can cause serious wounds and blood infections. Other bacteria in the list include Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant), Helicobacter pylori (clarithromycin-resistant), Campylobacter spp. (fluoroquinolone-resistant), Salmonellae (fluoroquinolone-resistant), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to infertility and can spread into the blood and joints, CNN reports.

Superbugs under the critical category mostly lead to serious chest and blood infections as well as urinary tract infections. This are the following - Acinetobacter baumannii (carbapenem-resistant), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (carbapenem-resistant), and Enterobacteriaceae, that includes Klebsiella, E.Coli, Serratia, and Proteus. This is carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing strains that can cause serious infections in the lungs, blood, and urine.

Experts have repeatedly warned about these infections and how they remain to be untreatable with today's existing drugs and antibiotics. As infections reach alarming proportions, creating new antibiotics to urgently address the need for treatment of such diseases should be developed as early as possible.

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