CANBERRA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Australian scientists have welcomed the World Health Organisation's (WHO) decision to release a list of the world's deadliest superbugs, saying it will be an important aid to government, health authorities and drug companies in battling the "priority pathogens".
Overnight,the WHO published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant diseases a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that are known pose the greatest threat to human health, with the "most critical group" including "multidrug-resistant" bacteria such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae
Professor Peter Collignon, Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist at the Australian National University (ANU), said the list would assist lawmakers and pharmaceutical companies get a head-start in chasing treatments for the deadly diseases.
"This WHO list is very important to help pharmaceutical companies, researchers, drug regulators and governments to help set priorities for research to find new drug classes to treat life threatening infections where there are few and, in some cases, no antibiotics to treat these infections," Collignon said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Antibiotic resistance is an ever-growing problem. In the developing world half of some common infections such as E.coli are now untreatable with available agents.
"The most resistant bacteria presently are Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas plus bowel bacteria such as E.coli and Klebsiella. The WHO list gives appropriate priority to the different bacteria."
Meanwhile Dr Michael Gillings form Macquarie University said while developing effective antibiotics is "expensive", the list will likely "stimulate" further research and development.
"These bacteria are deadly, are difficult to cure, and spread easily between people and animals. Most importantly, they are resistant to the antibiotics that we normally use to kill bacterial infections," Gillings said.
"Developing new antibiotics is expensive, and often not profitable. However, the WHO hopes that this statement will stimulate much needed research and development of next generation antibiotics."