By using antibiotics too frequently, some argue, we're setting the world up for a pandemic that we cannot treat.
Every time an antibiotic substance is used, the bacteria that survive reproduce.
Every time the new ones are introduced to stronger antibiotics, those that survive reproduce again.
Through this type of selection, as well as horizontal gene transfer, subsequent generations of bacteria grow stronger.
After years of this process - notably in densely-packed farms with little hygiene - we're left with bacterial infections we have no way to treat.
Hold on! We might not be able to treat these bacteria, but they've existed for quite some time; things seem (mostly) fine. None have, as of yet, become pandemics -
prevalent over whole countries or the world. I want to know if claims that the world could face the consequences of resistant bacteria are credible - or if isolated incidents do not compensate for years of evolution in order to spread rapidly.
Is there a realistic path from drug resistance to pandemic? Is there any evolutionary reason why or why not this could occur?