Infectious Disease Prevalence Sustains Need for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) systems are the collective set of diagnostic processes that facilitate the assessment of antibiotic susceptibility and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Over the past three decades, only a few high-throughput AST methods have been developed and implemented. Rapidly increasing prevalence of infectious diseases has been pushing the need for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the key issue of addressing the ongoing antimicrobial resistance has resurfaced on the global health system platforms. AMR at a global scale has the potential to eclipse the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Growing Antibiotic Use and Transmission of Resistant Pathogens Drive Antibiotic Resistance
The global antibiotic statistics indicate an increase of 35% in the antibiotic consumption between 2000 and 2010. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, casualties related to antibiotic resistance are alarmingly high (700,000 lives per year), and portends a disturbing count of 10 million per year by 2050, confirming that antibiotic resistance will be the most prevalent cause of death. Other growth stimulating factors are high prevalence of infectious diseases, increasing government funding, rising public private partnerships for R&D activities, technological advancements in the emerging testing techniques such as rapid testing.
Limited availability of medical reimbursements for microbial testing procedures is a major factor that limits the preference for advanced clinical microbiology products among patients and healthcare professionals. The continuous flow of culturing media to feed cells is one of the critical technical challenges in maintaining nutrient conditions as even a slight change in growth media due to evaporation can affect the bacterial growth, thereby altering the accuracy of AST.
Clinical Diagnostics Leading Application Segment; Antibacterial Testing in Demand
In the application segment, clinical diagnostics accounted for a significant share in 2020. This is due to increasing prevalence of infectious diseases and growing awareness about the use of antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods during diagnosis. Antibacterial testing was the most sought-after resistance testing technique in the global AST market in 2020. The contributing factors are increasing prevalence of infections due to pathogenic bacteria and increasing stringency of guidelines set to streamline the process of antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Manual antimicrobial susceptibility testing products registered a sizeable revenue share in the market in 2020, attributing to their competitive costs, ease of use, and a broader compatibility range covering a wide variety of organisms.
Technological Advancements in Rapid AST to Fuel Next Phase of Market Growth
Multiple systems are currently in their early developmental stage. A few of the pipeline technologies are focusing on rapid AST - QMAP (QuantaMatrix, Inc., Korea), Captiver™ system (Astrego Diagnostics AB, Sweden), and QuickMIC™ AST system (Gradientech AB, Sweden). QuantaMatrix, Inc. applies the microfluidic agarose channel (MAC) technology to detect systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) while observing bacterial growth in real-time with the help of proprietary microfluidic chip. On the other hand, Gradientech AB is developing a novel proprietary microfluidic technology solution called QuickMIC™ to monitor and quantify growth of bacterial microcolonies within two hours. The Astrego technology is based on microfluidics and imaging analysis techniques.
North America Spearheads; Asia Pacific Holds Lucrative Market Potential
Towards the end of 2025, North America is expected to retain its dominance in the global AST market landscape. The lead of this region is primarily due to the easy access and better adoption of advanced susceptibility testing methods and products in the region. On the other hand, Asia Pacific has been thriving at a rapid pace as the key suppliers of AST products are shifting their focus towards attractive Asian markets in an effort to compensate for saturated developed markets. Emerging economies such as Russia, India, China, Brazil, and South Africa are the major contributing countries with an estimated rise in antibiotic consumption of 76% by the end of the forecast period.
Global Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Market: Key Players
The market leader in global antimicrobial susceptibility testing landscape, bioMérieux S.A. (France) offers a comprehensive range of solutions and maintains a strong geographic footprint. Some of the key players operating in antimicrobial susceptibility testing market are Becton, Dickinson and Company, Danaher Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., MERLIN Diagnostika GmbH, Liofilchem S.r.l., Accelerate Diagnostics, Inc., Creative Diagnostics, The Merck Group, Synbiosis Ltd., BIOANALYSE Tıbbi Malz. San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti., Alifax S.r.l., and Zhuhai DL Biotech Co., Ltd.