Antibiotics are fundamental to modern medicine. They are essential to treat a wide spectrum of infections from routine streptococcal throat infections to life-threatening sepsis and to prevent infections in patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. However, the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has placed the world on the precipice of what public health leaders call a “post-antibiotic” era in which even simple surgical procedures could be complicated by deadly infections. In the United States alone, at least two million Americans acquire a serious antibiotic-resistant infection each year, with an estimated 23,000 deaths as a direct result.
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