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Rapid Microbiology Tests Quickly Rising in Healthcare, Industrial Markets

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Infectious disease epidemics and outbreaks linked to contaminated food, such as the recent E. coli scare, are becoming more frequent. As diseases evolve, finding new ways to resist vaccines and antibodies, as well as developing new means of transmission, the ability to quickly and efficiently diagnose these plagues is a crucial step towards containment.

Rapid microbiology tests can be instrumental in that process, according to market consultants Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan's latest strategic research study, U.S. Rapid Microbiology Test Markets, explores both the clinical and non-clinical microbial assay markets. The clinical chapter discusses the diagnostic tests used to detect and identify infectious agents in the human body, both in vitro and in vivo. The non-clinical portion examines biotechnology products such as immunoassays, nucleic acid probes and ATP bioluminescence-based systems that detect pathogens in food supplies, water supplies and the environment.

Rapid microbiology tests are products that test for bacteria, viruses, fungi and protoza, and are easier and/or faster to use than conventional methods. "These tests are generally designed to reduce the time, labor and costs of traditional methods, while improving the quality and effectiveness of the results," said medical analyst Leanne Constantine.

Rapid clinical tests are a welcome sight to the members of the medical community, most of which are happy to see the introduction of inexpensive, fast assays that can be performed in a doctor's office in a matter of minutes. The tests have become so popular, however, that they are seen as a threat to other types of assays.

"Manufacturers fear that due to the low price of rapid assays, only a very small profit margin is available," said medical analyst Tom Ryugo. "Often, the only businesses that can survive in such an atmosphere are the large multi-segment companies with concrete financial backing."

One of the most promising areas of development for clinical tests is point-of-care testing. This offers earlier patient diagnosis, earlier treatment and savings for patients and third-party payers, while avoiding costly delays and unnecessary quarantines.

The non-clinical microbiology market is experiencing an enormous amount of new business opportunities as a result of the expansion of Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points systems. HACCP is a management system for safety assurance that requires industry participants to develop a plan to end contamination. A large portion of the future growth forecast for the non-clinical market can be attributed to the introduction of HACCP.

Another innovation expected to continue increasing sales of rapid assays is ATP bioluminescence, a naturally occurring phenomenon that detects living cells for contamination control applications. ATP-based systems detect microbial cells or product residues on contact surfaces and process equipment within minutes, allowing remedial action to be taken in time to remove potential contamination hazards.

This competitive market study offers forecasts for a number of clinical and non-clinical rapid microbiology tests. The clinical section offers forecasts for the following rapid tests: HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia,

herpes, hepatitis, strep A, strep B, tuberculosis, RSV, influenza, legionella, mononucleosis, mycoplasma pneumonia, E. coli, H. pylori, cryptosporidium, giardia, C. difficile, rotavirus, fungal disease, and bacterial meningitis.

The non-clinical chapter includes: Hyginene monitoring, food-borne pathogen tests and water-borne pathogen tests.

Companies participating in this market include: 3M Medical Products Group, Abbott Laboratories, Alexon Inc., Bartels Inc., Beacon Diagnostics, Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems, Behring Diagnostics Inc., Binax Inc., Bio-Orbit Oy, BioChem ImmunoSystems, Biocontrol Systems Inc., Biomerica Inc., bioMerieux Vitek Inc., BioStar Inc., Biotrace, Boehringer Mannheim Corp., Calypte Biomedical, Celsis Inc., Charm Sciences Inc., ChemTrak Inc., Cortecs Diagnostics, Dako Corp., Diagnostic Products Corp., Difco Laboratories, Empyrean Diagnostics, Epitope Inc, ExproMed, Gelman Sciences, GEM Biomedical, Gen-Probe Inc., GENE-TRAK Systems, Gibson Laboratories Inc., Hach Company, Hybritech Inc, IDEXX Laboratories, Immuno-Mycologics Inc., ImmunoDiagnostics, ImmunoScience Inc., Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals, LMD Agro-Vet, LMD Laboratories Inc., Medix Biotech Inc., Merck & Co., Meridian Diagnostics Inc., Millipore Corporation, Murex Diagnostics, Neogen Corporation, New Horizons Diagnostics Corporation, Organon Teknika, Orion Diagnostica, Pace Corp., Perstorp Analytical Inc., Quidel Corp., Remel, Saliva Diagnostic Systems, Sanofi Diagnostics Pasteur, SmithKline Diagnostics Inc., TechLab, Tecra Diganostics, Trinity Biotech plc, VICAM LP, Wampole Laboratories, Wyntek Diagnostics, Cambridge Biotech Corp, CHEMUNEX, Biomira Diagnostics Inc., Bio-Rad Laboratories, BioWhittaker, Centocor Inc, Home Access Health Corp., International BioProducts Inc., LongView Partners, Ortho Diagnostics, Pro-Lab Diagnostics, and Selfcare.

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting company that monitors the medical industry for market trends, market measurements, and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of research publications such as #5066-53, U.S. DNA Probe Markets, and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs. Free executive summaries of all Frost & Sullivan reports are available to the press.

Report #3337-55, European Rapid Microbiology Product Markets, can be purchased with this report at a special price.
 Report: 5601-53 Publish Date: March 1997 Price: $2995

***Combined Cost of Reports 5601-55 and 3337-55: $5995***

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan
 -0- 03/17/97

/CONTACT: Russ Pecoraro of Frost & Sullivan, 415-237-4386, or fax, 415-903-0195, or, or visit the company's web site at:

CO: Frost & Sullivan ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

GZ -- SFM003 -- 6468 03/17/97 07:50 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1997
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