Enteric diseases are gastrointestinal infections caused by a variety of microbes comprising bacteria, viruses and parasites when they enter the body through the mouth or intestinal systems. Various microbes responsible for enteric infections include salmonella, shigella, rotavirus, norovirus, c. difficile, cryptosporidium, vibrio and campylobacter. These diseases may range from asymptomatic to having mild to severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, stool containing blood or pus, fever and weight loss. Incubation period varies from few days to few weeks depending on the disease and severity. In order to reduce the chance of developing complications, these diseases needed to be diagnosed early.

The market for enteric disease testing market has been segmented on the basis of different types of enteric diseases and their testing. Earlier, diagnosis of enteric diseases relied on culture results of stool specimen that involved identification of causative pathogens in a culture medium. However, the trend is now shifting from culture methods to other diagnostic methods owing to limitations associated with culture tests. Major drawbacks associated with culture tests include high cost, labor intensive, requires sophisticated laboratory and a skilled person to perform the diagnosis. On the other hand, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has made enteric infection diagnosis easy and fast. In developed regions such as North America and Europe, PCR based diagnosis is most recommended testing method for enteric diseases as it offers high sensitivity and specificity and is considered as easy, accurate, rapid and reliable method of diagnosis. Latest introductions in MALDI-TOF have also been developed for rapid diagnosis of whole organisms without destruction of infection sample.

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Asia-Pacific accounting for more than 50% of the total global population represents most profitable market for enteric disease testing in terms of growth and potential. The region associated with unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and unhygienic condition witness a large percentage of population infected with enteric microbes. The market for enteric disease testing is primarily driven in this region due to high prevalence of enteric infections, rising awareness, inception of rapid diagnostic tests and continuously improving economy of India and China leading to increased healthcare expenditure. Rapid dipstick test kit based on lateral flow technology is expected to experience a rapid growth in Asia-Pacific as these kits being inexpensive, easy to perform and enabling quick results. Japan, Australia and New Zealand being economically stable are expected to witness market growth because of molecular diagnostic based tests such as EIA and PCR. As most of the enteric diseases are more susceptible to children and elderly people, the market for enteric disease testing in Japan is growing due to large proportion of people aged over 65 years.

The global market for enteric disease testing is expected to reach USD 3,643.4 million by 2019, up from USD 3,082.6 million in 2012, growing at a CAGR of 2.4% throughout the forecast period. Geographically, North America represents the largest market because of high cost of products and high level of consumer awareness. DiaSorin, Cepheid, Alere, Biomerica and Meridian Bioscience are some of the vendors operating in this market.

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