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The global legionella testing market size was USD 226.24 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 455.99 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.1% during the forecast period.
The global market is poised to grow at a significant growth rate due to the rising prevalence of legionnaire infection, Pontiac fever, and pneumonia. Moreover, the emerging pandemic of COVID-19 affecting the respiratory system, increasing awareness about sanitization, and growing emphasis on the prevention of infectious diseases are also likely to boost the demand for Legionella testing kits. Legionella is a bacterial species growing especially in freshwater sources such as showers, bathtubs, ponds, swimming pools, and others. With the prevalence of the Legionella infection pandemic in the U.S. in 1997, stringent regulations have been formed for testing of freshwater sources regularly. Commercially available popular tests include, microbial culture method, urine antigen testing, and more recently launched advanced PCR technique. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, most of the countries in the world are observing lockdown condition. The water from many commercial building storage systems is unused for many days which is susceptible to the growth of Legionella species. Compulsory testing of these water sources before starting operations at these sites has been recommended by the governments of many countries to prevent the Legionella outbreak. For example, Wirehouse, an Employment Law & Health and Safety Service provider from the U.K., recommends Legionella testing service visit at the working places to ensure the absence of Legionella species growth.
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Growing Adoption Rapid Testing Methods such as Urinary Antigen Testing and PCR to Accelerate Market Growth
The technologies that power molecular diagnostics are rapidly evolving to help overcome rapidly growing infectious disease pandemics. Conventionally used Legionella testing method using microbial culture technology is time-consuming and tedious. However, it was the most preferred test method over the urinary antigen test until the emergence of the PCR test, due to its ability to detect Legionella species serogroups. PCR is super sensitive with 95-99% sensitivity, can detect all the serotypes of the Legionella species, and is rapid. Increasing the launch of real-time PCR kits and its expanded geographic reach has resulted in enhanced adoption of this test method all over the world.
Growing Prevalence of Legionnaire Disease to Stimulate Growth
Legionella bacterial species are found in fresh water reservoirs with an average temperature of 20 to 40-degree Celsius. They are responsible for causing respiratory disease, known as a legionnaire’s disease. The market is expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period, owing to the increasing incidence and prevalence of this disease leading to an increase in demand for testing kits. Moreover, the rise in the incidence of hospital-acquired legionella infection and increasing frequency of testing in these facilities due to stringent regulations will drive the demand for such effective products in near future.
According to the study published by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, out of 16 hospitals located in Taiwan, 10 hospitals (63%) tested positive for Legionella Pneumophila. The hospitals potable water system was found to be the primary source for hospital acquired Legionella disease.
Although, the reason for the prevalence of this infection is unclear, it is a severe health concern in U.S. The Health departments reported nearly 10,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S. in 2018. This is expected to add momentum to the market in the forecast period.
Stringent Regulations for Regular of Water Testing to Spur Growth
The presence of various species in the water reservoirs such as ponds, lakes, swimming pools, warm water showers, and water supply pipes of commercial buildings is a growing health concern. Outbreaks of legionellosis results in increased risks of morbidity and mortality among exposed people. Therefore, the suspicion of an outbreak warrants immediate action. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information and guidance on assessment of Legionella risk and its proper management in seven principal documents. These documents offer guidance on evaluation and management of risks associated with water sources, pools, cooling towers, and spa baths. The governments of many countries have enacted regulations meant to manage Legionella in various types of water systems. For instance, the European Union (EU) formed the European Working Group for Legionella Infections (EWGLI) to control the prevalence of this diseases in various types of water systems. Thus, stringent monitoring of water reservoirs and launch of rapid testing methods for onsite water testing is anticipated to promote Legionella testing market growth.
Legionella infection is a well-recognized and commonly occurred health concern in developed nations. In response to that, the government of various nations have formed stringent regulations for diagnosis of associated diseases and regular testing of any source of infection. On the other hand, there is a limited awareness about the bacteria and the diseases associated with it in the emerging regions of the world. The disease is underdiagnosed in many countries due to lack of proper definition, guidelines, and diagnostic facilities, which may further pose major challenge to the market in terms of growth
Studies regarding the awareness of this infection in countries such as India has found that, the sporadic diseases generally are unnoticed due to burden of other diseases such as bacterial and viral pneumonias and tuberculosis. Thus, limited awareness about the diseases, lack of sufficient diagnostic infrastructure, and slow adoption of advanced diagnostic tools with high costs such as real time PCR are some of the major factors to hamper the growth of the market in these regions
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Urine Antigen Testing (UAT) Segment to Hold Generous Portion of the Market
Based on type, the market is segmented into culture media, urine antigen testing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), serology tests, and direct antibody fluorescent methods. The urinary antigen testing segment held the largest share in 2019. This is the most commonly used laboratory test used for detecting legionella bacterium in the urine. It can provide the results on the same day of sample collection unlike culture media methods that requires 7 to 8 days. Moreover, it is a cost-efficient test and is more preferred among people from under-developed or developing regions. However, the segment is projected to lose share to some extent due to the fact that it can only detect LP1 species of Legionella. Rapidly emerging PCR technique to overtake the market in the forecast period with a higher CAGR driven by the highest selectivity and specificity of the test.
Diagnostic Center Segment Dominating Market Stoked by Increasing Prevalence
Based on end user, the market is segmented into hospitals and clinics, diagnostic centers, and others which represents environmental testing sites. Among them, the diagnostic centers segment earned the highest revenue. This is attributable to the growing prevalence of legionnaire disease, increasing awareness, and rise in the penetration of advanced tests for Legionella infection diagnosis. It is also anticipated to continue this preponderance during the forecast period. The others segment which includes environmental testing apart from the clinical testing of Legionella bacterium is anticipated to expand at a rapid rate owing to the introduction of onsite testing methods and enforcement of stringent regulations for routine water check-ups.
North America Legionella Testing Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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This market size in North America was USD 90.98 million in 2019. The market in this region is characterized by high diagnosis rates for Legionnaire disease, presence of world-class healthcare infrastructure, high awareness about the disease, and stringent water testing regulations. The presence of a large number of geriatric population that is vulnerable to the infection easily, coupled with the high risk of mortality due to associated pneumonia among such patients prioritizes Legionella testing in countries such as the U.S.is adding impetus to the regional market.
Europe held the second largest Legionella testing market share attributable to the growing adoption of high-cost PCR test and increasing Legionella outbreak in in the region. The market in Asia-Pacific is projected to expand at highest CAGR during the forecast period on account of economic development, empowered healthcare industry, and increasing awareness about available tests productsin the region. Latin America and the Middle East & Africa regions are likely to emerge as new expansion opportunities for leading players to establish footprints across globe.
Key Players Embrace New Technology and Expand Distribution Channels to Intensify Competition
This market is consolidated in nature owing to the presence of a few players serving the global demand. Most of the players are engaged in expanding their portfolio to accommodate advanced testing methods such as UAT and PCR. Moreover, the key players are adopting collaborative strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures, among others to expand their consumer base. For instance, in October 2017, Abbott entered the market by acquiring Alere Inc. The leading players of this market are Albagia Ltd, Abbott, Quidel Corporations, Merck KGaA, Thermofischer Scientific, and others.
The Legionella testing market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market, current trends, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over the recent years.
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