Protozoa are unicellular, non-phototrophic, eukaryotic microorganisms lacking cell walls. This group comprises over 65,000 species. Most protozoa cause a number of diseases in animals and humans. In the cyst stage of the life cycle, protozoa are most dormant and resistant to environmental stress factors. Cysts are often the mode of infection in disease causing protozoa. These infectious agents are usually transmitted through fecal-oral route. The major disease-causing protozoans include Plasmodium spp., Trypanosoma spp., and Leishmania spp. Diseases caused by these protozoans lead to significant mortality, morbidity, and economy losses in developing countries. Protozoal infections arise due to poor sanitary conditions, improper hygiene, and lack of vector control methods in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Antiprotozoal drugs are therefore used to combat these diseases. Antiprotozoal drugs kill or inhibit the reproductive ability of a protozoa, preventing further infections.
Major diseases caused by protozoa include amebiasis, malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, and giardiasis. Amebiasis is a gastrointestinal tract disease, caused by Entamoeba histolytica, which is an anaerobic parasitic protozoan. 50 million people worldwide are infected with Entamoeba histolytica. Diarrhea and dysentery are the most common signs and symptoms of this infection. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. Patients show symptoms of fever and chills. Plasmodium falciparum, vivax, malariae, and ovale are the causative agents of malaria. The disease is endemic in various countries.
Leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, and giardiasis are the most common protozoan infections leading to a number of deaths worldwide. Demand for antiprotozoal drugs is high as there are no vaccines available for the treatment of these diseases and therapy depends on antiprotozoal drugs. Increasing demand for new antiprotozoal drugs, owing to the problems such as poor efficacy, unsuitable pharmacokinetic properties, and drug resistance of preexisting drugs. Moreover, rising population, poverty, poor hygiene, sanitary conditions in underdeveloped and developing countries, and increasing awareness about these diseases are the major drivers of the antiprotozoal drugs market. However, high cost and inadequate pharmaceutical research restrain the market.
In terms of causative agent, the antiprotozoal drugs market has been segmented into antimalarial drugs, amebicides, trichomonacides, antigiardial, leishmaniacides, trypanocides, and toxoplasmocides. Amebicides comprise antiprotozoal agents such as arsenicals, quinoline derivatives, and drugs from natural source, emetine, hydroxyquinolone, diloxanide furate, paramomycin3, carbarsone, nitroimidazole derivatives, and chloroquine. Anti-malarial drugs consists of 8-aminoqinoline, cinchona alkaloids, 4-amino quinines, 9-acridine, sulfone, and biguanides. Trichomonacides comprise metronidazole. Antigiardial consists of metronidazole. Leishmaniacides consists of sodium stibogluconate and pentamidine. Trypanocides class of drugs comprise suramin and pentamidine, while toxoplasmocides consist of pyrimethamine along with sulfadiazine. The antiprotozoal drugs market has also been segmented based on mode of action and type of treatment. In terms of end-user, the antiprotozoal drugs market has been segmented into hospitals, private clinics, pharmacies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, and e-commerce. The pipeline for new antiprotozoal drugs is projected to boost the growth of the global antiprotozoal drugs market.
Based on region, the global antiprotozoal drugs market has been segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe. However, the market is divided according to the type of infection and its prevalence in each region. For instance, the global market for antimalarial, leishmaniacides, and amebicide drugs is concentrated in developing countries in Asia Pacific and Africa. Rapid research & development activities by pharmaceutical companies can lead to introduction of new scientific technology, methods, and treatments to cure these diseases. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive demand for antiprotozoal infection drugs during the forecast period.
Key players in the global antiprotozoal drugs market include Enzon Pharmaceuticals (Abelcet), Paladin Therapeutics, Inc., Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Lifecare Innovation, Sanofi, Pfizer, Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novartis AG, Ipca Laboratories Ltd., Merck KGaA, and F. Hoffmann La-Roche Ltd.
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