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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

May 20, 2024 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its updated Bacterial Priority Pathogens List 2024, which aims to guide investments and R&D in new antibiotics and promote international coordination to address the rising global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The updated list, which incorporates new evidence and expert insights, includes 15 families of antibiotic-resistant bacteria grouped into critical, high, and medium categories for prioritization based on their burden and ability to resist treatment and spread resistance to other bacteria. Five pathogen-antibiotic combinations were removed from the new list and four new combinations were added, reflecting the dynamic nature of AMR.

Last week, WHO authorized a second vaccine for dengue, which will hopefully offer millions more worldwide protection against the mosquito-borne disease, which is currently behind a major outbreak in the Americas and rising cases globally. The two-dose vaccine, made by Takeda, protects against the four types of dengue and is recommended for use in children between six and sixteen years old in regions with high dengue rates. The decision opens the door for donors and other United Nations agencies to purchase the vaccine for high-burden countries.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of self-collected samples with Roche and BD’s HPV tests, a decision that hopefully will expand access and reduce barriers to HPV screening, allowing more people to detect and treat cervical cancer. Screening for HPV is used to identify those who may be at risk of developing cervical cancer, most cases of which are caused by persistent HPV infection. Traditional screening involves a speculum-involved pelvic exam to screen for cervical cancer, which can be painful or uncomfortable for many patients. Self-collection allows patients to collect their own vaginal samples for screening in a health care setting.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author