WHO is concerned about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and has warned we are quickly running out of treatment options. They’ve listed the top bacteria most dangerous to humans to create awareness and to spur the development of new medicines.
WHO has prioritized the bacteria into three categories: Critical, High and Medium. They’re based them on how drug resistant they are, how often people get them, and the number of deaths they cause. The first category is:
Priority 1: Critical
1. Acinetobacter baumannii
2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Priority 2: High
4. Enterococcus faecium
5. Staphylococcus aureus
6. Helicobacter pylori
7. Campylobacter spp.
9. Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Priority 3: Medium
10. Streptococcus pneumoniae
11. Haemophilus influenzae
12. Shigella spp.
Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are two bacteria that can cause pneumonia or severe blood infections for those who are sick and hospitalized.
The family bacteria of germs called Enterobacteriaceae live in your gut and can affect those in a hospitalized setting that need ventilators, urinary catheters, or intravenous catheters. Enterococcus faecium can cause diseases like neonatal meningitis or endocarditis. Staphylococcus aureus is often found in your nose, respiratory tract, and on the skin. It can cause pneumonia, food poisoning, toxic shock syndrome, and blood poisoning.
To help with the prevention of resistance, here are my prescriptions:
1. Avoid using antibiotic hand sanitizer. Best to use soap and water and scrub for 20 seconds.
2. Always take your antibiotics as prescribed. Be sure to finish them even when you feel better.
3. Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics if you have viral infections. Antibiotics do not fight viruses like colds, flu or sore throats.
4. If you are sick and are prescribed antibiotics, ask if tests will be done to make sure the right one is prescribed.
It’s estimated that it could take up to a decade for new medications to become available. That’s a long time to wait while these germs continue to threaten those in hospitals, nursing homes and anyone with weakened immune systems.