Mononucleosis or mono is a common infectious disease caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) also known as human herpesvirus 4, which belongs to gamma herpes virus family. The common symptoms of mono are high fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, tonsils and weakness. The symptoms usually occur after 4 to 6 weeks of exposure to the virus. Mono is a contagious disease spread through saliva and mucus of the nose thus a person infected with EBV can avoid spreading of virus by avoiding physical contact, and sharing of utensils and toothbrushes. It occurs most commonly in children and young adults as elder people usually develop immunity against this common infectious disease.
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The diagnosis of the disease is performed by a blood test that shows an abnormal increase of specific type of lymphocytes compared to other lymphocytes in the blood stream. It also includes other tests to rule out diseases with similar clinical symptoms such as strep throat, and cytomegalovirus infection. It can also be confirmed by serological test. The most common serological tests used to diagnose EBV infection detect anti-VCA IgG and IgM, and anti-EBNA IgG in the sample. The interpretation of these serological findings allow physician to start stage-specific treatment to the patients. Some of the commercially available mono diagnostic kits are EBV NA IgG EIA Kit marketed by Bio-Rad, AVITEX IM kit by Omega Diagnostics, VIDAS EBV marketed by bioMérieux Clinical Diagnostics and LIAISO NEBV IgM by DiaSorin.
The mononucleosis diagnostic is a growing market with tremendous opportunities. The market is expected to proliferate in coming years owing to significant increase in viral infection in the developed as well as developing countries. The major growth driver for mononucleosis testing includes introduction of new technologies enabling tests to be done in short duration of time, government and public awareness initiatives on mononucleosis infection, and rise in the adolescent population particularly in the South East Asia. Large number of peoples suffering from other diseases with clinically similar symptoms such as strep throat, HIV infections and cytomegalovirus infection would also boost the market as people suffering from those diseases will also go for mono test.
Based on geography, the mononucleosis diagnostic market is segmented in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World (RoW). North America dominates the global mononucleosis diagnostic market due to advance technology and testing facilities. Moreover, rising prevalence of Mononucleosis has also fueled the growth of mononucleosis diagnostic market in this region. According to HealthResearchFunding.org, U.S., approximately 50% of the children in the United States have been affected by the EBV virus that is responsible for the development of mononucleosis infection. In a study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 95% of people in the United States over the age of 30 had been infected with EBV at one point in their lives.
Asia-pacific and rest of the world market is expected to offer significant growth rate in coming years. Major factor responsible for the rapid growth of this market in the region are large patient population, rapidly growing economies and government initiatives on the prevention of infectious diseases.
The market for mononucleosis diagnostic can be estimated on the basis of volume of mono tests generated at large hospitals, private diagnostic laboratories, private and small clinics and other healthcare settings. Key players operating in this market are Beckman Coulter, Inc., Genzyme Corporation, Affymetrix, Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Diagnostic, Becton Dickinson, Biotest Pharmaceuticals Corporation, bioMérieux SA and DiaSorin S.p.A and Omega Diagnostics.
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