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Gram-surveillance report – is the focus right?

The recent publication of the output from the Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) project in the Lancet provides the most comprehensive estimate of the AMR burden to date.

The headline message is that they found that there were 1.2m deaths attributable to bacterial AMR and nearly 5m deaths associated with bacteria AMR in 2019.

Lower respiratory infections were the most common disease associated with AMR.

The six most problematic pathogens – in order- were E. coli, S. aureus, K. pneumoniae, S. pneumoniae, A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa.

Access to better treatment and/or prevention options for the Gram-positives, S. aureus and S. pneumoniae, particularly in north Africa and the Middle East, are urgently required.

It takes decades for academic research to mature into translational projects and ultimately new therapies. Almost all current antibacterial R&D is focused on Gram-negatives. We can’t afford to ignore Gram-positive antibacterial R&D because in 10-30 years we will need new therapies – we must do it all – consistently.

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