All of this is being caused by what experts call the “Perfect Storm”. The antibiotics we rely on are rapidly losing effect (due to bacterial evolution), and new antibiotics are scarcely being developed. The time to first reported case of resistance for a new antibiotic is shorter now than ever before:
- Pre-1980: 11.3 years to first report
- Post-1980: 1.6 years to first report
This is because modern antibiotics are predominantly derived from earlier generations, by simply modifying or adding to them. As such, the bacteria are already familiar with these new antibiotics, making their task of fighting off the new drug simple.
Also, the Covid 19 pandemic has seen dramatically increased use of Quat disinfectants, known to encourage bacterial evolution. On 2 September 2021 the US CDC announced an alarming increase in resistant infections in the 4th Quarter of 2020, including a 33.8% increase in MRSA infections.