Urgent call for better use of existing vaccines and development of new vaccines to tackle AMR

Source: The post is based on the article “Urgent call for better use of existing vaccines and development of new vaccines to tackle AMR” published in WHO on 13th July 2022

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO) has released the first-ever report on the pipeline of the vaccines currently developing to prevent infections by Antimicrobial Resistance(AMR) bacterial pathogens.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance(AMR)?

Antimicrobial resistance(AMR) refers to the growing threat of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites becoming unresponsive to antimicrobial medicines.

Most recent estimates suggest that 4.95 million deaths were associated with AMR in 2019.

But AMR is about more than bacterial infections. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines. 

When an individual becomes infected with these microbes, the infection is said to be resistant to antimicrobial medicines. These infections are often difficult to treat.

How can vaccines help in combating AMR?
AMR and Vaccines
Source: WHO

Vaccines can be highly effective tools in combating antimicrobial resistance(AMR). They reduce the incidence of both resistant and susceptible infections, thereby also decreasing antibiotic consumption. 

What does the report say on current vaccine development against AMR?

The report identifies 61 vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical development to address AMR diseases. However, the report cautions that most will not be available anytime soon.

Currently, there are vaccines available against four priority bacterial pathogens: 1) pneumococcal disease (Streptococcus pneumonia), 2) Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), 3) Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and 4) Typhoid fever (Salmonella Typhi). 

But the current Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccines against tuberculosis (TB) do not adequately protect against TB. Hence, the report called for developing more effective vaccines against TB.

The remaining three vaccines are effective, and the world needs to increase the number of people receiving them to contribute to a reduction in the use of antibiotics and prevent further deaths.

Print Friendly and PDF