Pneumonia is a type of lung infection caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites. Streptococcus pneumonia is one of the most common causes of pneumonia among children, others are Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hob) and Pneumocystis jiroveci. It is characterized by symptoms such as short breathing, fever, chest pain, nausea and vomiting. In pneumonia the air sacs of lungs called as alveoli are filled with fluid or pus that causes inflammation. The treatment of pneumonia depends on severity of symptom and types of pathogens. Usually, antibiotics are given to treat pneumonia caused by bacterial infection while to treat pneumonia caused by fungi, antifungals are prescribed.
It is quite difficult to diagnose pneumonia as its clinical symptoms overlap with many other diseases such as the asthama, bronchitis and common cold. In order to confirm pneumonia, a doctor recommends tests including chest X-ray, blood tests, sputum test, CT scan, pleural fluid culture and pulse oximetry test. The market for pneumonia diagnostics and technologies can be estimated on the basis of volume of tests generated at hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, physician’s own clinics and other healthcare settings. Chest x-ray and CT scan are generally recommended at hospitals for the diagnosis of pneumonia while community healthcare settings usually recommend diagnosis on the basis of symptoms. Some of the key players operating in this market space are Becton Dickinson, Affymetrix, Bio-Rad, Abbott Laboratories, Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, bioMeriux, DiaSorin and Novartis Diagnostics. Some of the diagnostic kits available in the market are Directigen S. pneumonia test kit by Becton Dickinson and LCx Chlamydia pneumonia PCR assay kit by Abbott Laboratories.
The market for pneumonia diagnostics and technologies is projected to grow under the influence of increasing aging population, recent advances in pneumonia diagnostics and high prevalence of pneumonia among children. Rapid increase in aging population in North America, Europe and Japan will be driving the market in these regions as elder people are more susceptible to develop pneumonia compared to general population. As of April 2013, WHO (world health organization) suggests that pneumonia is one of the major factors causing death in children. It is estimated that every year approximately 1.2 million children under the age of five years die due to pneumonia. This disease is most prevalent in South Asia and African countries. The recent advancement in pneumonia diagnostics such as the development of nucleic acid detection tests for major pneumonia pathogens and immunochromatographic pneumococcal urinary antigen tests are predicted to drive the market globally.
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