Global shortage of innovative antibiotics fuels emergence and spread of drug-resistance

  16 April 2021

The world is still failing to develop desperately needed antibacterial treatments, despite growing awareness of the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, according to report by the World Health Organization. WHO reveals that none of the 43 antibiotics that are currently in clinical development sufficiently address the problem of drug resistance in the world’s most dangerous bacteria.

“The persistent failure to develop, manufacture, and distribute effective new antibiotics is further fueling the impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and threatens our ability to successfully treat bacterial infections,” says Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant Director General on AMR.

Almost all the new antibiotics that have been brought to market in recent decades are variations of antibiotic drugs classes that had been discovered by the 1980s.

The impact of AMR is most severe in resource-constrained settings and among vulnerable groups such as new-borns and young children. Bacterial pneumonia and bloodstream infections are among the major causes of childhood mortality under the age of 5. Approximately 30% of neonates with sepsis die due to bacterial infections resistant to multiple first-line antibiotics.

Further reading: WHO
Author(s): WHO
Effective Surveillance  
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