Ticks most commonly transmit bacterial infection Lyme disease. The disease can cause many chronic health complications. The discovery of American scientists promises a rapid and accurate detection of Lyme disease.
Diagnosis of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of borreliosis, such as fever, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue resemble the flu. However, people with strong immunity may not show any signs of infection and, therefore, often do not receive enough attention.
Patient testing, which would allow early detection of the disease, monitoring the course of treatment, and detection of possible reinfection, plays a crucial role in treating Lyme disease. Researchers at Tufts University have tracked down specific antibodies that make up the host’s body against its phospholipids.
These phospholipids are used by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of borreliosis, as an essential food source. These antibodies are so-called autoantibodies, which are antibodies that inadvertently target and damage a patient’s tissues or organs. The discovered mechanism could bring the desired progress in early diagnosis.
Lyme Disease Testing
According to research leader Peter Gwynne, there is testing for borreliosis today, but it has limitations. “Traditional borreliosis tests can stay positive for many years or a lifetime,” says Gwynne. “As a result, when some people have symptoms reminiscent of a long-term borreliosis infection, doctors may not be sure if it is a chronic form of borreliosis, a reinfection of borreliosis, or another illness that they have developed after curing borreliosis.”
According to the researchers, these autoantibodies develop very quickly in patients. The causative agent of borreliosis incorporates the substance in question, phospholipids, on its surface, which leads the infected immune system to produce autoantibodies. However, autoantibodies disappear quickly when the infection goes away because they are dangerous for the body and can damage their tissues. For these reasons, anti-phospholipid autoantibodies are well suited for borreliosis testing.
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection and the most common human-borne infectious disease in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Source and credit: https://now.tufts.edu/articles/potential-new-test-diagnosing-lyme-disease, pixabay.com