Streptococcal infections are caused by a microorganism called Streptococcus which is a non-motile, microaerophilic, grampositive spherical bacterium. Several disease causing strains of the bacteria include streptococci (groups A, B, C, D, and G). Each group causes specific types of infections and symptoms. Group A strain of the bacteria are the most virulent species for humans and cause wound and skin infections, strep throat, scarlet fever, tonsillitis, blood infections (septicemia), pneumonia, Sydenham's chorea., rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis.
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Streptococci are known to originate from several natural sources, including humans and diverse animals. These bacteria often colonize on the mucosal surfaces of the mouth, nasal passages, intestinal tract, and pharynx. Moreover, the bacteria may also cause contamination of drinking water due to feces. Food products which are at high risk of contamination include milk and dairy products, steamed lobster, eggs, potato salad, ground ham, rice pudding custard, and shrimp salad. Some streptococci are commercially important for the production of cheese and yogurt, though are known to be potent pathogen.
The bacteria species which do not cause any infection and are used in food industry include S. lactis, S. diacelillactis S. cremoris, and S. thermophilus, the latter being the most well-known. The factors affecting the incidences of sore throats (pharyngitis) include seasonal variation, patient’s age, and geography. Pharyngitis most of the times is bacterial, though can be viral. Children ranging from 5 to 15 years of age are most susceptible to the infection by group A strep during the winter or early spring season. Symptoms of this infection include stomach aches, headaches, vomiting, nausea, and listlessness.
Streptococci Testing Market: Key Segments
The global streptococci testing market can be segmented based in tests type, end users and geography. Antibody tests include the antistreptolysin O titer (ASO), anti-DNase-B (ADB) test and Streptozyme. ASO test helps in determining a kidney disease glomerulonephritis, scarlet fever or rheumatic fever. ADB test is performed to determine a previous infection of a group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus. Streptozyme is a screening test used to detect antibodies to several streptococcal antigens. Diagnostic tests include throat culture and rapid antigen test. Diagnostic tests are used to confirm the infection where in the sample from the infected area is used as culture, a means of growing bacteria artificially in the laboratory.
The cause of a sore throat is usually diagnosed on the basis of a physical exam and lab tests. A throat culture also known as strep test helps in detection of the presence of group A strain of streptococcal bacteria by using a throat swab. This strain is the most common cause of strep throat infection. Various other infections caused by these bacteria include pneumonia, meningitis and tonsillitis. Rapid antigen test can detect strep bacteria in minutes by looking for substances (antigens) in the throat. The rapid strep test detects the presence of a carbohydrate antigen which is unique to group A Streptococcus.
The downside to the rapid test is that it cannot detect the presence of Group C and G which can also cause streptococcal pharyngitis. On positive rapid strep test, the treatment is started with appropriate antibiotics to prevent long-term damage and recurrence. End users segment include hospitals, private labs, physicians offices and public health labs. Geographically, the global streptococci testing market is segmented into four major regions namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World.
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Streptococci Testing Market: Key Players
The key players contributing to Streptococci market include Abbott Diagnostics, Beckman Coulter, bioMerieux, DiaSorin, Hologic, Qiagen, Roche Diagnostics, Novartis Diagnostics, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Sigma Aldrich, and Thermo Fischer Scientific.