Chikungunya is a vector-transmitted viral disease caused by chikungunya virus i.e. CHIKV. CHIKV is an RNA virus belonging to Alphavirus genus of family Togaviridae. The disease was first detected in 1952 in southern Tanzania during an outbreak. The term chikungunya, which is borrowed from Kimakonde language, literally means ‘to become contorted’. The term was coined due to the stooped or curved appearance of sufferers having arthralgia (joint pain). Chikungunya is transmitted by day-biting infected mosquitoes, which are primarily of two types: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The virus may also be circulated within different animals including rodents and birds. The disease is characterized by fever and joint pain.
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Other symptoms such as joint swelling, muscle pain, headache, fatigue, nausea, and rash are also observed. Most people suffering from chikungunya recover within a week; however, joint pain is often unbearable and it varies in duration. The disease can be diagnosed by testing the blood for antibodies against the virus (i.e. serological testing) or by detecting viral RNA in blood (i.e. molecular testing). Often the chikungunya infection is misdiagnosed with dengue or Zika virus in the areas where the latter two are prevalent, as all the three infections manifest similar symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chikungunya occurs in Asia including the Indian subcontinent and Africa with relatively low levels of human infection. However, in the year 1999–2000, a large outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in 2006–2007, in India and Gabon.
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Thereafter, several cases were reported in other Southeast Asian countries and also in European countries. Since 2013, cases have been reported in France, North American countries, and Latin American countries also. So far, chikungunya is a disease with no cure or vaccines. Treatment is generally symptom-oriented and it aims at relieving the symptoms. The disease prevention is focused on the prevention of mosquito bites and prevention and control of mosquito infestation.
The global chikungunya diagnosis market is witnessing rapid growth, owing to the increasing incidence of chikungunya worldwide, rising awareness about mosquito-transmitted infections, and government initiatives regarding the prevention and control of mosquito infestation and the disease. Other factors driving the market for chikungunya diagnosis are constant government efforts regarding the prevention of mosquito breeding and general awareness among people about mosquito bites and the resulting infections.
Additionally, the rising unmet needs for chikungunya diagnosis in Asia and Africa are likely to provide growth opportunities for the global chikungunya market during the forecast period. However, lack of appropriate treatment and vaccines and misdiagnosis of chikungunya with dengue and Zika virus infections may hamper the growth of the global market during the same period. Also, factors such as lack of awareness in certain underdeveloped countries, shortage of proper diagnostic services along with skilled professionals, and scarcity of funds in these countries may lead to sluggish growth of the global market in the near future.
The chikungunya diagnosis market can be segmented on the basis of technique, end-user, and region. Chikungunya can be diagnosed by serological testing techniques or molecular testing techniques. Serological testing involves enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) carried out for detecting the presence of IgG and IgM anti-chikungunya antibodies.
Molecular testing involves reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) carried out for detecting the presence of viral RNA. The market can be segmented on the basis of end-user into diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, and others (academic & research institutes, biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies). The diagnostic laboratories segment is expected to account for a major share of the market during the forecast period, due to increasing incidence of mosquito-transmitted diseases and high investments in diagnostic laboratories.
Geographically, the chikungunya diagnosis market has been segmented into five regions viz. Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America holds a major share of the global market, due to extensive R&D activities in the health care sector in the region including ongoing corporate and government efforts for the development of new products. The market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a rapid pace, due to high prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Additionally, alliances among the western market players is another factor stimulating the growth of the chikungunya diagnosis market in the region.
Key players operating in the global chikungunya diagnosis market are Abbott Laboratories, Alere Inc., Becton, Dickinson and Company, bioMerieux SA, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Danaher Corporation, Hologic, Inc., MedMira Inc., Merck KGaA, QIAGEN, Roche Molecular Systems Inc., Siemens Healthcare, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
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