Antibiotics Current Affairs

WHO revises Protocol for Antibiotics

With an aim to curb antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revised the protocol for antibiotics. This revision is the biggest such revision of the antibiotics section in the 40-year history of the essential medicines list (EML).

Salient Highlights

WHO has divided the drugs into three categories — access, watch and reserve. It has also specified which category of drugs are to be used  for treating common ailments and which are to be used to treat complicated diseases.

As per the classification, commonly used antibiotics will be placed under the ‘access’ category. WHO has recommended that the antibiotics in this category be made available at all times as a treatment for a wide range of common infections. The drugs that fall under this category includes drugs such as amoxicillin which is widely-used for treating infections such as pneumonia.

Second line of antibiotics which are slightly potent will be placed under ‘watch‘ category. WHO recommends that the drugs coming under this category be prescribed less to avoid further development of resistance. Example of drug that falls under this category is Ciprofloxacin, which is used to treat cystitis and upper respiratory tract infections like bacterial sinusitis and bacterial bronchitis.

The highly potent drugs which should be used only as a last resort will be placed under the ‘reserve’ category. WHO recommends that these drugs be used only when all other alternatives failed such as life-threatening infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.

WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, it succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva. WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.

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WHO wants new drugs against 12 antibiotics-resistant super-germs

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged governments, scientists and pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to tackle 12 antibiotics-resistant super-germs threatening an explosion of incurable diseases.

This is for the first time, WHO has published a list of bacteria threatening to turn once easily-treatable infections into incurable diseases. It held that antibiotics may not be ready in time if it is left on market forces alone.

Key Facts
  • WHO described these antibiotics-resistant super-germs as “priority pathogens” as they are greatest threats to human health. They are no longer respond to an ever-growing list of ineffective antibiotics.
  • They were targeted based on the severity of disease they cause how many drugs still work against them, how easily they spread and how many new ones are already being developed.
  • WHO divided these 12 “priority pathogens” into three categories of new medicine priority: critical, high and medium.
  • The high and medium priority categories include drug-resistant bacteria that cause more common diseases such as gonorrhea and salmonella-induced food poisoning which hit poor countries particularly hard.
  • These 12 germs cause ailments including blood, lung, brain, and urinary tract infections, food poisoning from salmonella and gonorrhoea.
  • The most urgent section contained three bacteria families resistant to carbapenem antibiotics which are last-resort treatment for many life-threatening infections.

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About World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is a specialized agency of the UN that is concerned with international public health. It was established in April 1948. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is member of the United Nations Development Group. It is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey.

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