No cure for common infections, warns WHO

THE World Health Organization (WHO) has called for urgent action to halt the rise in microbial resistance. 

It warned drug resistance was increasing among organisms that are major killers, causing diseases such as tuber­culosis, malaria and HIV.

Bacteria carrying the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) gene – which confers the most resistance yet seen – was also recently identified in public water supplies in India (Lancet Infectious Diseases, online 7 April).

“The trends are clear and ominous,” said WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan in a media statement. 

“In the absence of urgent corrective and protective actions, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure.”