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Mar 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 6)

Combating Hospital-Acquired Infections

Significant Opportunity Exists for Innovative Biopharmaceutical Companies

  • Prevention Methods

    Nosocomial infections will not be stopped by simple preventive measures. The pathogens that cause nosocomial infections exist throughout healthcare facilities. Many of them are extremely hardy and persist for long periods of time. It is simply not possible to disinfect every  area of the facility all the time. Because of this, there will most likely be a strong market for antibiotics to treat nosocomial infections and a market for diagnostics to define the existing infections.

    Containment practices are isolation and cleanliness procedures and should be woven into the healthcare facility’s procedures. These work on the basis of isolating infected individuals from the general patient population and by removing pathogens from their routes of transmission.

    Therapeutics clearly will be needed near and long term. A significant problem of HAIs, however, is the rapid spread of drug-resistance. This is not only an issue within the hospital setting, it is also an important issue in terms of public health. It should be remembered that not all nosocomial infections present themselves while the patient is actually in the hospital. These infections can show up within 48 hours of discharge. 


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