E. coli, the bacteria responsible for over 90% of UTIs, was named on World Health Organization (WHO)'s list of bacteria to watch, according to PBS.
The implications of antibiotic resistance in the context of UTIs could be enormous since half of all women will develop a UTI at some point in their lives, and one in every five women suffer from repeat infections. As it stands, it’s a pain to schedule a doctor's appointment for a diagnosis and acquire a prescription of antibiotics, and it can be costly depending on your insurance situation. But at least the result is always the same—infection, gone.
Here’s Debora MacKenzie, reporting for New Scientist via PBS, on the announcement released from World Health Organization:
“Researchers at the WHO and at the University of Tübingen, Germany, pinpointed the most damaging families of drug-resistant bacteria based on criteria such as how often bacteria resist antibiotics, how many they resist, how often they kill, and the numbers of people affected.”
The WHO compiled this list in an attempt to develop a game plan to develop new antibiotics that can tackle these widespread bacteria.
It's unclear what comes next but the list is a thought-provoking reminder that no matter how effective medicine can be, nothing beats prevention.