WHO wants to fight bacterial infections
It is a study published in Lancet that selected about thirty bacteria – the most commonly involved in infections – and evaluated how many deaths were associated with them.
This was done within the framework of the Global Burden of Disease. This vast research program, funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, is unprecedented in scope, involving several thousand researchers in most countries of the world.
The authors conclude that “deaths associated with these bacteria are the second leading cause of death worldwide” after coronary heart disease, including heart attacks.
In total, there are 7.7 million deaths related to bacterial infection; one in eight deaths can be attributed to them, although these figures date back to 2019, before the pandemic of COVID.
Of the 30 or so bacteria selected, five alone accounts for more than half of the deaths: staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, pneumococcus, Klebsellia pneumoniae, and pyocyanine bacillus.
The bacterium, staphylococcus aureus, is “the leading bacterial cause of death in 135 countries,” the study said.
Pneumococcal infections are the most deadly for young children under five years old.
For the researchers, these results illustrate how bacterial infections are an “urgent priority” in public health.
They call for work on infection prevention, better use of antibiotics – in particular to avoid resistance phenomena – and more effective use of vaccination.