Tackling the threat of antimicrobial resistance in neonates and children: outcomes from the first WHO-convened Paediatric Drug Optimisation exercise for antibiotics

Children and neonates are highly vulnerable to the impact of antimicrobial resistance. Substantial barriers are faced in relation to research and development of antibacterial agents for use in neonates, children, and adolescents aged yonger than 19 years, and focusing finite resources on the most appropriate agents for development and paediatric optimisation is urgently needed. In November and December, 2022, following the successes of previous similar disease-focused exercises, WHO convened the first Paediatric Drug Optimisation (PADO) exercise for antibiotics, aiming to provide a shortlist of antibiotics to be prioritised for paediatric research and development, especially for use in regions with the highest burden of disease attributable to serious bacterial infection. A range of antibiotics with either existing license for children or in clinical development in adults but with little paediatric data were considered, and PADO priority and PADO watch lists were formulated. This Review provides the background and overview of the exercise processes and its outcomes as well as a concise review of the literature supporting decision making. Follow-up actions to implement the outcomes from the PADO for antibiotics process are also summarised. This Review highlights the major beneficial influence the collaborative PADO process can have, both for therapeutic drug class and disease-specific themes, in uniting efforts to ensure children have access to essential medicines across the world.



Alasdair Bamford, Tiziana Masini, Phoebe Williams, Mike Sharland, Valeria Gigante, Devika Dixit, Hatim Sati, Benedikt Huttner, Yasir Bin Nisar, Bernadette Cappello, Wilson Were, Jennifer Cohn, Martina Penazzato on behalf of the PADO-antibiotics participants


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