Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Market: The Impact of Rising Antibiotic Use
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) remains a critical component of the global healthcare system as the prevalence of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance continues to surge. Over the last three decades, only a handful of high-throughput AST methods have emerged, and they have become increasingly essential in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) now looms larger than ever before, with the potential to eclipse even the impact of the pandemic.
Rising Antibiotic Use and the Spread of Resistant Pathogens Drive Urgent Need for AST
Global antibiotic consumption has seen a 35% increase between 2000 and 2010, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Alarmingly, casualties related to antibiotic resistance already claim 700,000 lives annually, with a forecasted count of 10 million per year by 2050. This underscores the urgency of addressing antibiotic resistance, which is poised to become the leading cause of death globally. Factors such as high infectious disease prevalence, increased government funding, public-private partnerships for research and development, and technological advancements in testing methods are all contributing to this growing concern.
Barriers to Advanced Clinical Microbiology Products
Despite the crucial need for AST, limited availability of medical reimbursements for microbial testing procedures remains a significant obstacle. The challenge of maintaining consistent culturing media conditions is another technical hurdle, as even slight changes in growth media can impact bacterial growth and compromise the accuracy of AST results.
Clinical Diagnostics and Antibacterial Testing in High Demand
In 2020, clinical diagnostics claimed a significant share of the AST market due to the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases and growing awareness of antimicrobial susceptibility testing during diagnosis. Among resistance testing techniques, antibacterial testing was the most sought-after, driven by the rise in infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and increasingly stringent testing guidelines. Manual antimicrobial susceptibility testing products also played a substantial role, thanks to their competitive costs, user-friendliness, and compatibility with a wide range of organisms.
Technological Advancements Fueling Market Growth
The market is experiencing a new wave of growth, driven by technological advancements in rapid AST. Several pipeline technologies are focused on this area, including the QuantaMatrix, Inc. QMAP system, Astrego Diagnostics AB’s Captiver™ system, and Gradientech AB’s QuickMIC™ AST system. These innovations leverage microfluidic technology to monitor bacterial growth in real-time and offer faster results, promising a significant impact on the field of antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
North America Leads, Asia Pacific Offers Lucrative Opportunities
By the end of 2025, North America is expected to maintain its leadership in the global AST market, driven by easy access to advanced testing methods and products. In contrast, Asia Pacific is rapidly growing as key suppliers target the region’s attractive markets to compensate for saturated developed markets. Emerging economies such as Russia, India, China, Brazil, and South Africa are expected to drive a 76% increase in antibiotic consumption by the end of the forecast period.
Key Players in the Global AST Market
Leading the global antimicrobial susceptibility testing landscape is bioMérieux S.A. of France, offering a comprehensive range of solutions and maintaining a strong geographic footprint. Other key players include 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.
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