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Emergence of multidrug resistance along with government initiatives and funding expected to boost the antimicrobial susceptibility testing market

   September 6, 2021

The burden of infectious diseases across the globe has increased, resulting in the growing demand for safe and effective diagnostic products. Invasion of the bloodstream by microorganisms poses severe health challenges. Bloodstream infections can result in serious consequences like disseminated intravascular coagulation, shock, multiple organ failure, or even death. Common bloodstream infections include sepsis, dengue fever, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Sepsis is among the most common types of bloodstream infections and may lead to organ dysfunction. As per WHO statistics updated in August 2020, there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis, with around 11 million sepsis-related deaths globally in 2017. Blood culture is the gold standard for diagnosing septicemia. Antibiotics, being the critical tool for treating life-threatening infections like sepsis, the demand for antimicrobial sensitivity testing is high in determining the use of the right antimicrobials.

Hepatitis B is another common infection. The infected population is at risk of developing liver complications. As per WHO statistics updated in July 2020, the prevalence of chronic Hepatitis B was estimated at 257 million cases by the end of 2015. Screening for common pathogenic bacterial infections is important as it allows early diagnosis and appropriate therapy management. Therefore, the demand for antimicrobial susceptibility testing will be expanding.

In addition, to the prevalence of infectious diseases, WHO states that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global public health threats. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics are major causes of AMR. As per WHO statistics, nearly 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Drug-resistant diseases are projected to cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050. By 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty. In 2019, a new AMR indicator was included in the Sustainable Development Goals monitoring framework. This indicator monitors the frequency of bloodstream infections due to two specific drug-resistant pathogens—E. coli, resistant to third-generation cephalosporins (3GC) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In 2019, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) received data on bloodstream infections due to E. coli from 49 countries and bloodstream infections due to MRSA from 25 countries. On average, antibiotic resistance was 12.11% in the case of methicillin-resistant S. aureus and 36.0% in the case of E. coli resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. Thus, the high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance drives the demand for anti-susceptibility testing.

R&D for new antimicrobial development has reduced significantly due to the growing risk of antimicrobial resistance. As a result, the clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry. In 2019, the WHO identified 32 antibiotics in clinical development that address the WHO’s list of priority pathogens, of which only six were classified as innovative. Furthermore, a lack of access to quality antimicrobials remains a major issue. Antibiotics shortages are affecting healthcare systems across both developed and developing countries, further augmenting the demand for antimicrobial susceptibility testing for antimicrobials and clinical pipeline candidates.

Thus, the emergence of AMR has reduced the efficiency of antibiotics in treating common infectious diseases, leading to a failure of microbial response to standard treatment, prolonged illness, higher healthcare expenditures, and an immense risk of death. The increasing number of pathogenic bacteria acquiring multidrug resistance drives the demand for antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

In addition, governments across the globe are heavily focusing on increasing awareness about the treatment of infections caused by pathogens by undertaking initiatives related to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Also, governments are working with domestic and international partners to develop efficient products to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These initiatives help to educate decision-makers, regulatory agencies, and other end users regarding the prevention of such infections. For instance, in October 2020, the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), 2020–2025, was introduced to improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans by changing the course of antibiotic resistance. This plan prioritizes infection prevention and control to slow the spread of resistant infections and optimize antibiotic use. Also, in 2019, the U.K. government published a 20-year vision and a 5-year action plan for tackling AMR. Earlier, in 2018, the U.K. government launched a five-year national action plan detailing the U.K.’s contribution in controlling the growing global problem of antimicrobial resistance. The plan was aimed at achieving a 10% fall in drug-resistant infections by 2025 and a 15% drop in human antibiotic use. Also, the plan aims to eliminate healthcare-related infections by 2024 and pave the way for investments in small biotech companies working to reduce resistant infections. In November 2018, Swiss federal authorities launched a four-year campaign to encourage the appropriate use of antibiotics among the general public in Switzerland. This campaign helps to spread awareness regarding the antimicrobial resistance caused due to excessive use of antibiotics and draws attention towards the research on newer antibiotics to which the microorganisms are not resistant. This will make use of antimicrobial susceptibility testing products and would support the growth of the AST market in the upcoming years.

Such government initiatives for combating multidrug resistance are expected to boost the need for antimicrobial susceptibility testing products, thereby driving the growth of the global antimicrobial susceptibility testing market at a CAGR of ~6.4% to reach $5.99 billion by 2028, according to the Meticulous Research®.


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