The demand for animal-derived food products, such as meat, milk products, and eggs, among others, has been observed to increase in recent years. According to the FAO, feeding the world population would require raising the overall agri-food production by around 50–70% by 2050. However, agricultural productivity has been declining in recent years, largely due to the shirking of resources, particularly less cultivable lands. Owing to this, the demand for animal-derived food products is observed to increase across the world. FAO also states that in developed countries, the consumption of animal proteins is fairly stable (around 44 to 55 g/capita/day), while in developing countries, the consumption of animal proteins is increasing steadily.
To meet the increasing demand for animal-derived foods, farmers are focusing on increasing productivity in farm animals by increasing livestock populations and preventing viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections through regular checkups and disease monitoring. Rapid tests enable farmers to test for disease and conditions near animals, saving them the trouble of large animal transportation to veterinary establishments or sending samples to laboratories for testing. These rapid animal disease diagnosis tests are easy to use and can be operated without formal training. Therefore, the increasing livestock population drives the adoption of rapid diagnostic products.
The emergence of zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, swine flu, and Ebola has brought the need for rapid diagnostic tests to the forefront of animal healthcare. Rapidly diagnosing these diseases is critical for effectively managing and preventing their spread. The use of rapid diagnostic tests for animal diseases has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing the use of antibiotics, which is crucial in combating antimicrobial resistance. Over 150 zoonotic diseases worldwide are transmitted to humans by wild and domestic animal populations, 13 of which are responsible for 2.2 million deaths per year. Harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi cause zoonotic diseases. These germs can cause many illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illnesses and even death. Animals can sometimes appear healthy even when carrying germs that make people sick, depending on the zoonotic disease.
As animals also provide food for consumption, foodborne zoonotic diseases are caused by consuming food or water contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms. According to U.S. CDC, more than six out of every ten known infectious diseases can be spread from animals, and three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.
Zoonotic diseases such as zoonotic TB and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) greatly burden animal health. The African region carries the heaviest burden of disease and death due to zoonotic TB, followed by the South-East Asian region. Apart from zoonotic TB, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is also a severe, highly contagious viral disease. The FMD virus causes illness in cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves. FMD is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that severely affects livestock production and disrupts regional and international trade in animals and animal products. Seven separate virus types are causing foot-and-mouth disease. However, the different virus serotypes of FMD are not uniformly distributed within the endemic regions (including much of Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia). Serotype O FMDV is responsible for approximately 70% of outbreaks globally. Six of the seven serotypes have occurred in Africa (O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3), four in Asia (O, A, C, Asia-1), and three in South America (O, A, C) (Source: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp).
The increase in the demand and consumption of animal-derived foods leads to an increase in the livestock population, with poses a risk of zoonotic outbreaks. Therefore, adopting rapid tests is expected to drive the market for rapid and early diagnosis of diseases and prevent their further spread. According to Meticulous Research®, the global veterinary rapid diagnostic tests market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.1% to reach $1.10 billion by 2030.
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