The global E.coli testing market is driven by the increasing occurrences of Escherichia coli (E.coli) around the world. According to a market intelligence firm, Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global E.coli testing market was valued at US$1.2 billion in 2013 and is anticipated to reach US$2.1 billion by 2022, expanding at a CAGR of 6.58% during the forecast period of 2014 to 2022.
High Number of E.coli Infection Cases Driving the Demand for E.coli Testing
E.coli is a bacterium that exists in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. Most E.coli is harmless. However, there are some are pathogenic strains that can cause food and water borne illnesses with serious medical complications. These could range from urinary tract infections (UTI), neonatal meningitis, cholecystitis, bacteremia, cholangitis, gastrointestinal infections, and pneumonia. According to CDC, E.coli is the primary reason behind approximately 80% of the UTI infections each year. E.coli bacteria are linked to human or animal waste matter and their presence is a strong indication of contamination.
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Hence, it is extremely important to test food and water samples regularly for E.coli to avoid food and waterborne infections. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. regulate drinking water and bottled water standards through approved tests.
High Demand for Membrane Filtration to Continue till 2022
Recurring incidences of E.coli across the world have led to a high demand for quick and accurate test kits. The environmental E.coli testing methods that have been approved by the EPA are membrane filtration, multiple tube fermentation, enzyme substrate, and P/A (presence absence) tests. Out of these, membrane filtration is the most widely used, as it provides bacterium enumeration accurately. Nevertheless, membrane filtration method enables testing of large volumes of water samples and more accuracy of results are obtained as compared to multiple tube fermentation method.
Why are P/A (presence/absence) Tests Favored by Consumers?
Membrane filtration tests are more in demand in developing countries as such tests are more economical than P/A testing methods. However, this trend is expected to undergo a significant change as the popularity of P/A tests is increasing due to the following reasons.
1. P/A tests are preferred because these testing methods do not require sophisticated laboratory equipment or skilled personnel. They can be done using small- or medium-sized incubators.
2. P/A testing has been improved to provide quantitative MPN count of E.coli in water samples
3. These tests cost less than US$10 per test. P/A tests are becoming more popular due to their low costs and are based on enzyme substrate reactions and are qualitative. P/A tests have generated the majority of sales in terms of volume in test kits, but in terms of numbers, membrane filtration tests have a majority and are conducted using individual laboratory apparatus.
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Emerging Regions to Gain Substantial Share in the Global E.coli Testing Market
Asia Pacific has great potential for growth in the global E.coli testing market. This region reached a value of US$14.99 million in 2013 and is expected to develop at a CAGR of 6.92% during the aforementioned forecast period. China, which is part of the Asia Pacific region, is grappling with severe water pollution problems, and approximately 200 million fall ill due to water borne diseases annually, according to an article published in Nature in 2014. The emerging regions of Asia Pacific and Latin America will experience impressive growth in the global E.coli testing market; as tests in these regions are performed with individual laboratory consumables and apparatus and only 40% of the tests use easy-to-use kits.
IDEXX Laboratories leads the overall E.coli testing market with a massive 80% share. Other notable companies in the global E.coli testing market are Charm Sciences, Danaher, Abbott Laboratories, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.