Drug-resistant bacteria are emerging pathogens whose resistance profiles present a major challenge for containing their spread and their impact on human health. Currently, over 70% of bacterial nosocomial infections in the United States are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics traditionally used to eliminate them. People who become infected with drug-resistant micro-organisms usually spend more time in the hospital and require a form of treatment that uses two or three different antibiotics and is less effective, more toxic, and more expensive (Webb et al. 2005,A model of antibiotic-resistant bacterial epidemics in hospitals. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci USA 102:13343–13348).
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