More than half a century has passed since antibiotics became an important part of the physician's arsenal against infectious diseases. However, pathogenic bacteria have evolved and mutated into organisms that have become resistant to virtually all of the antimicrobial agents that have been developed. Physicians and patients must be educated as to what constitutes the prudent use of the therapies that are left. Infection control practices in hospitals have not been able to completely halt nosocomial antibiotic resistance.

It appears that the development of new antimicrobial agents coupled with revised approaches to infection control, offer the best hope for dealing with bacteria and antibiotic resistance.

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