WHO publishes a list of bacteria dangerous to humanity


Image courtesy of stevepb at


On February 27, WHO published a list of antibiotic-resistant pathogens that should be given the highest priority with regard to the discovery or invention of new drugs intended to combat them. There are 12 families of bacteria placed on the list as - according to WHO - posing the greatest threat to humanity.

The purpose behind the creation of such a list was mainly to draw the attention of people and institutions dealing with the development works in the relevant field to the strains of bacteria that are the most dangerous to humanity. These are mainly gram-negative bacteria, being resistant to a few types of antibiotics, capable of quickly gaining immunity and transferring it not only to other bacteria, but also their further generations.

According to the representatives of WHO, the phenomenon of resistance to antibiotics is increasing while doctors seem to be slowly running out of proper therapeutic methods to fight it.

The list of priority-given pathogens has been divided into three categories, each of them indicating the right priority for the discovery or invention of new medicines: critical (-ly high), high and medium.

The critically high priority has been ascribed to the bacteria that expose resistance to numerous antibiotics, the ones that may infect an individual in particular units or entities of health care (or, generally speaking, in the case of closed medical facilities). These include such bacteria displaying resistance to carbapenems and cephalosporins of third generation as Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and some Enterobacteriacaeae (e.g. Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia i Proteus).

The full list of WHO looks like this:

Priority 1: CRITICAL
1. Acinetobacter baumannii, resistant to carbapenems
2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, resistant to carbapenems
3. Enterobacteriaceae, resistant to carbapenems and producing extended-spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBL)

Priority 2: HIGH
1. Enterococcus faecium, resistant to vancomycin
2. Staphylococcus aureus, resistant to methicillin, displaying reduced susceptibility to and/or resistant to vancomycin
3. Helicobacter pylori, resistant to clarithromycin
4. Campylobacter spp., resistant to fluoroquinolones
5. Salmonellae, resistant to fluoroquinolones
6. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, resistant to cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones

Priority 3: MEDIUM
1. Streptococcus pneumoniae, not susceptible for penicillin
2. Haemophilus influenzae, resistant to ampicillin
3. Shigella spp., resistant to fluoroquinolones
Sources: WHO_1 i WHO_2
Image credits: stevepb
Image source:
Feel free to contact us.


Phone: +48 71 725 34 10

Office address
ul. E. Kwiatkowskiego 4, 52-326 Wrocław, Poland

© 2020 - Grupa Kapitałowa Startit Fund | All rights reserved.

Made in:

Important: I hereby confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy of Startit Fund Sp. z o.o. [Ltd.] company
Join us!