Allergic reactions occur due to a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system against certain substances present in the environment, which are often referred as allergens such as dust mites excretion, pollen, and pet dander. Allergic reactions have a detrimental impact on the human health causing significant morbidity due to otolaryngologic, pulmonary, and dermatologic disorders. According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), over 500 million people are suffering from allergic rhinitis globally. The morbidity pattern varies from chronic illnesses such as allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma to acute anaphylaxis from venom or medication. Allergies are observed to affect all age groups, races and ethnicity and economic classes, although, young children and elderly are at higher risk. Factors such as alarming rise in pollution and environmental toxicity, overcrowding due to population rise, lifestyle factors are leading to weakened immune systems and heightened vulnerability towards allergic reactions.
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According to the World Allergy Organization, nearly 30% to 40% of the global population is affected by one or the other allergic conditions and currently no cure is available for these disorders. Consequently, there is a burgeoning global market for diagnostic services to detect allergies caused by different allergens. The positive test alone demonstrates sensitization but do not always indicate clinical reactivity. The complexity of the allergy diagnosis lies in the fact that the diagnosis does not rest entirely on test results but also needs to incorporate patient’s medical history and the genetic predisposition towards certain allergies. Accurate diagnosis and immunotherapy is the only ray of hope for seeking cure against most of the allergen sensitivities.
Some of the allergy diagnostic products and services include allergy markers, ImmunoCAP, recombinant gene technology, and EliA blood tests among others. Allergy diagnostics market is bound to grow in future owing to the current health scenario with parallel rise in demand for accurate diagnostic tools and services. To enable diagnosis and disease management of allergies and autoimmune disorders, allergens have been classified on the basis of product type and end-users:
The end-users segment includes healthcare institutions such as medical research centers, laboratories, hospitals, and health insurance companies. Product types can be further subdivided into:
- Assay Kits and immunoassay analyzers
Immunoassay analyzers are expected to capture a huge share among the global allergy diagnostics market and is poised to grow at the highest rate. To map out the diagnostic allergy market on a global scale, North America accounts for the largest regional market followed by Europe and opening up newer avenues for the rapidly growing markets in Asia-Pacific. This trend is further backed by the statistical information from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) which reported in 2012 that nearly 17 million Europeans have food allergies and there has been seven-fold rise in allergic reactions among children over the past decade. One in every thirteen children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S is exposed to this potentially serious condition. Consequently, the market has witnessed a remarkably high growth owing to the increasing awareness coupled with government initiatives for the unmet needs of the population in many countries. It is anticipated that the sector will experience a tremendous growth as a result of the demand side factors, investments in the products and services for detecting the allergic trigger.
Some of the key players contributing to this market segment are Allercheck Laboratories, Inc., bioMérieux SA, Danaher Corporation, Hitachi Chemical Diagnostics, Inc., HOB Biotech Group Co., Ltd., HYCOR BioMedical, Lincoln Diagnostics, Inc., Omega Diagnostics Group plc, Siemens Healthcare, Stallergenes, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.