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This article is from the In-Depth Report The Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance
See Inside Scientific American Volume 307, Issue 3

Clean Sweep: Hospitals Bring Janitors to the Front Lines of Infection Control

Hospitals bring janitors to the front lines of infection control

Infection-prevention specialists think these efforts are promising but still preliminary. Most have not been tested in randomized clinical trials that could record whether the engineered surfaces were solely responsible for reducing patient infections.

“They need a lot more work, but I do think they will be a part of the solution,” says Eli Perencevich, an infection-control specialist at the University of Iowa and interim director of the Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation at the Department of Veterans Affairs, who consults for PurThread. Yet, he adds, they will be one additional weapon against infections, not a replacement for other strategies: “We can never let go of making sure that surfaces are cleaned and that health care workers wear gloves and wash their hands.”

This article was originally published with the title "Clean Sweep."

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