Health care–acquired infections, particularly those due to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, have received significant attention in recent years. Despite work focused on elucidating the epidemiology and effects of such infections, success in curbing their emergence remains elusive. Few new classes of antibiotics are even in the earliest stages of development, making efforts to prevent the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria even more crucial. However, the evidence base on which potential infection-prevention strategies must be built is severely limited because very few of the necessary clinical trials have been conducted. The generation of such scientific evidence is constrained by the perceived difficulty of completing the necessary studies and limited federal funding available for assessing infection-prevention interventions.
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