Infection is one of the most common causes of diseases, and several of these infections have proved a pestilence. In the current scenario, the COVID-19 epidemic is the world’s deadliest infection, killing over 340,000 people as of May 2020, since being detected in December 2019. Due to the rapidly increasing number cases and deaths, the adopted of microbial identification methods is increasing around the world, to ascertain whether someone has the virus or not, and if not, which other microbe could be causing the symptoms.
Apart from coronavirus, several other microbial infections have ran riot on the earth, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), measles, polio, Zika, cholera, tuberculosis, anthrax, leprosy, dengue fever, malaria, and bubonic plague. Due to the rising prevalence of many such pathogen-borne diseases, the microbial identification market is growing rapidly across the world. Several consumables, services, and instruments and software are required to efficiently establish the presence of microorganisms in a given sample. Among them, consumables are the most widely bought around the world, as reagents, kits, media, and plates are used in every individual test, so they deplete rather quickly.
In the coming years, the demand would increase the fastest for instruments and software, mainly as a result of the advancements in the microorganism-detecting technologies. For instance, the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) method is becoming widely popular, as it is cost-effective, offers faster results, and requires less amounts of consumables. In the present times, when hundreds of people are being tested for COVID-19 at individual medical centers, such cheap and quick-analysis techniques could witness a swift rise in demand.
There are mainly two methods to detect the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi in the human body: genotypic and phenotypic. Though the phenotypic method has been the convention, users are rapidly shifting to the genotypic alternative, because it is more reliable and accurate, on account of being based on the analysis of the nucleic acid. Both these techniques are utilized for food and beverage testing and diagnostic, environmental, and pharmaceutical applications. Among these, diagnostic applications account for a significant consumption of microbial identification instruments, consumables, software, and services.
This is simply because of the high prevalence of infectious diseases around the world, most of which are easily communicable to healthy people. Therefore, the infections need to be identified and treated as quickly as possible, to check the spread to other people. Similarly, food and beverage testing is also a prominent sector where microbes need to be detected. This is because of the stringent quality guidelines imposed on food and beverage companies, such as by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These policies, coupled with the increasing awareness of people about food contamination, are leading to an increase in the adoption of microbe testing methods in this sector.