Human blood, consisting of blood cells and plasma, delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells and transports metabolic waste away from those cells. Blood screening is the process of testing blood samples to diagnose and monitor various diseases. Blood screening is used to detect numerous disease-causing bloodborne pathogens such as viruses or bacteria in the blood samples. The diagnosis of most infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, West Nile virus, Chagas disease, and Zika Virus, is performed through blood screening. Various technologies such as nucleic acid amplification tests, ELISA, rapid tests, and next-generation sequencing, which help in the efficient diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, are utilized for blood screening.
Blood donor screening for blood-type testing and infectious diseases testing is the most common type of blood screening. Blood transfusions are widely required in the healthcare sector; hence, there is a rising demand for donated blood worldwide. Transfusions are mainly required in major surgeries or in cases of severe injury to replace the lost blood. However, certain bloodborne diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis B & C, syphilis, and malaria, can be transmitted through the transfusion of donated blood. The laboratory screening of donated blood and blood products for infectious diseases is a key safety measure to protect patients and prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases. Donated blood, as recommended by the WHO, should be screened for various infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis before transfusion. Blood banks must screen every unit of collected blood for several infectious diseases and blood type to avoid transfusion incompatibility. The increasing demand for donated blood, prevalence of infectious diseases globally, and growing awareness regarding transfusion-transmitted infections are the major driving factors for the growth of the blood screening market. For instance:
- In 2019, about 38 million people lived with HIV worldwide, while the WHO estimates that there are 376 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases every year.
- About 117.4 million units of blood are collected globally every year.
- According to the WHO, between 2013 and 2018, the number of voluntary blood donors increased by 7.8 million, owing to the initiatives taken by both government and non-government organizations.
Thus, it is imperative to screen every unit of collected blood for various infectious diseases to ensure safety and prevent the spreading of diseases.
There has been an increase in the prevalence and outbreaks of infectious diseases worldwide. Many bloodborne bacterial and viral infectious diseases are spreading rapidly. There have been outbreaks of Ebola, Zika, dengue, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), influenza, COVID-19, etc., in recent years.
- According to UNAIDS, in 2018, there were about 38 million people living with HIV globally.
- According to the WHO, there are an estimated 376 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) every year.
- According to the WHO, about 325 million people lived with hepatitis B and C, with 2.85 million new infections worldwide in 2017.
Blood screening technologies like nucleic acid amplification, ELISA, rapid tests, western blotting, and next-generation sequencing are highly capable of detecting various infectious diseases in blood samples with high sensitivity and specificity. Thus, the high prevalence of infectious diseases drives the growth of the blood screening market.
Moreover, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have developed serological antibody tests, which are used for seroprevalence studies. There are several types of serological tests, such as rapid diagnostic tests (RDT), ELISA, neutralization assay, and chemiluminescent immunoassay, which use blood or serum as a sample for testing. These simple test kits are based on the detection of human antibodies generated in response to infection in blood or serum. The U.S. FDA gave emergency use authorization to more than 50 serological tests since the outbreak. For instance:
- In August 2020, bioMérieux SA received EUA and a CE mark for its enzyme-linked fluorescent assay (ELFA) for VIDAS SARS-CoV2 that measures IgM and IgG antibodies.
- In April 2020, Abbott Laboratories Inc. received EUA by the FDA for chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA).
Thus, the outbreak of COVID-19 has driven the demand for blood screening and the development of innovative blood screening techniques and tests to better quantify the number of cases.
Developing and underdeveloped countries are markets with a high risk of transfusion-transmitted infections and increasing public awareness. They offer great opportunities for the growth of the blood screening market. As the emerging markets are developing rapidly, they are adopting advanced technologies for blood screening, which also provides a great opportunity for the market players.
According to Meticulous Research, the blood screening market is expected to record a CAGR of 6.9% to reach $3.56 billion by 2027.