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WHO bacterial priority pathogens list, 2024 | latest WHO document

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WHO Bacterial Priority Pathogens List, 2024 | latest document: The 2024 WHO Bacterial Priority Pathogens List (WHO BPPL) is an important tool in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance. Building on the 2017 edition, the 2024 WHO BPPL updates and refines the prioritization of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens to address the evolving challenges of antibiotic resistance. The list categorizes these pathogens into critical, high, and medium priority groups to inform research and development (R&D) and public health interventions.

 The 2024 WHO BPPL covers 24 pathogens, spanning 15 families of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. Notable among these are Gram-negative bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics, drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis, and other high-burden resistant pathogens such as SalmonellaShigellaNeisseria gonorrhoeaePseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. The inclusion of these pathogens in the list underscores their global impact in terms of burden, as well as issues related to transmissibility, treatability, and prevention options. It also reflects the R&D pipeline of new treatments and emerging resistance trends.

The WHO BPPL acts as a guide for prioritizing R&D and investments in AMR, emphasizing the need for regionally tailored strategies to effectively combat resistance. It targets developers of antibacterial medicines, academic and public research institutions, research funders, and public–private partnerships investing in AMR R&D, as well as policy-makers responsible for developing and implementing AMR policies and programs.

In this update, five pathogens–antibiotic combinations that were included in the 2017 version were removed based on evidence and expert consensus: clarithromycin-resistant Helicobacter pylori, fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter spp., penicillin-non-susceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae, third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Providencia spp. and vancomycin-intermediate and -resistant S. aureus. Four new combinations were added: macrolide-resistant Group A Streptococci, penicillin-resistant Group B Streptococci, macrolide-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, and RR-TB. Finally, 23 antibiotic– bacteria phenotypes combinations were included in BPPL-2024. Fig 2. compares the ranking of priority pathogens in the 2017 and 2024 BPPLs. Following the finalization of the ranking, the combinations were arranged by family and order, resulting in 15 “drug–bug” combinations presented in the final list.

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