Mucormycosis is a rare and potentially fatal fungal disease that has burst into the limelight recently. The infection is caused by a group of fungi known as mucormycetes and has a high fatality rate. As per U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention data, the disease targets the brain, sinuses, and lungs, and is particularly problematic for immune-compromised patients afflicted with HIV, cancer, or diabetes. Mucormycosis can even progress to disfigurement of the eyes, nose, or face, permanent blindness, or invasive brain infection, making it imperative to tackle in the earliest stages of detection.
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Lethal Combination of COVID-19 and Steroid Abuse Allows Mucormycosis to Run Rampant in India
The second wave of COVID-19 in India has led to an uptick of mucormycosis cases in the subcontinent. It is likely that mucormycosis is affecting patients due to the excess prescription of immunosuppressant and corticosteroid drugs. Diabetics who contract COVID-19 or those receiving concentrated, humidified oxygen for extended durations are at great risk. For e.g. – Sion hospital in Mumbai has reported a four-fold increase in mucormycosis cases in March 2021, compared to the same period last year. In 2021, India alone accounts for approx. half of global mucormycosis cases. A prominent restraint to overcome in the APAC mucormycosis market is an overall lack of market access. In an Indian study, a quarter of patients were discharged from hospitals before any treatment as they could not afford the medical costs or the medical prognosis was incorrect.
Government Encouragement to Anti-infective Drug Industry Allows Europe to Lead Mucormycosis Market
The pervasiveness of diabetes mellitus has slowly risen in Europe and is now approaching double digits. Furthermore, government initiatives to boost the anti-infective drugs industry is projected to benefit the mucormycosis market in the region. The European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECCM) is spearheading efforts by drafting global guidelines for the diagnosis and management of mucormycosis.
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Coagulopathy Challenges Fail to Prevent Tissue Biopsy Segment Dominating Mucorymycosis Market
The primary diagnostic test in the mucormycosis market is tissue biopsy, challenges in culturing mucor notwithstanding. Different types of rapid laboratory screening tests comprise Calcofluor White Stain and KOH mount. The benefits of tissue biopsy largely outweigh its risks in cases of location inaccessibility or coagulopathy. Other forms of imaging techniques widely deployed in the mucormycosis market include computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is essential to treat mucormycosis as early as possible with amphotericin B, isavuconazole, or Posaconazole – either administered intravenously or orally. The gold standard for treating invasive mucormycosis has long been amphotericin B, while surgical debridement is key in mucormycosis management. Additional options in the mucormycosis market consist of statins, deferasirox, caspofungin, hyperbaric oxygen, and aspirin.
Prevalence of Diabetes Globally Makes Rhinocerebral Mucormycosis A Major Burden
The five types of infections to be tackled in the mucormycosis market are rhinocerebral (sinus and brain), pulmonary (lung), gastrointestinal, cutaneous (skin), and disseminated mucormycosis. Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is most common in those who have undergone a kidney transplant or have diabetes. Conversely, pulmonary mucormycosis rears its ugly head in cancer patients, or in those who have successfully undergone stem cell transplants.
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