The test will help to detect the disease much quicker and more effectively than current methods.
People suffering from Lyme disease were left optimistic after a new test could lead to detecting the disease earlier than before.
The test was researched from scientists at George Mason University over a three year period using data from 300 patients and looking at early indicators of the disease. The current problem with Lyme disease detection is that people suffering from it may still have active cases but it is hard to find this out. The new test can detect trace amounts of Lyme through the urine and so can tell when the disease has disappeared showing a negative result. The technology will hopefully be made into a convenient method rather like a pregnancy test.
Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness and hard to diagnose if people don’t carry the rash that occurs after a bite. The new test will help many people with diagnosis and detectable treatment. The team of researchers are now working together with a private company called Ceres Nanoscience who are developing the test for patient use.
Prof. Alessandra Luchini, who led the Lyme test research and was involved in creating the technology, hopes that the test can be further developed to detect other diseases.
“We’re looking to repeat the story again with these other diseases. Other targets for the new type of test include Chagas disease, which is infectious and caused by a parasite, and toxoplasmosis, another parasite-borne disease.”
The idea for the test was originally born from student Temple Douglas who was an intern at the university at the time. She was curious whether the technique researchers were working on to test for microscopic cancer particles could be used to test for Lyme as some members of her family suffered from it at the time.
While current tests take up to two weeks to confirm diagnosis, Dr. John Aucott, from the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center says that the new test will bypass the wait.
“This test wouldn’t have that delay, in theory, because you don’t have for the antibody development if you’re measuring the bacterial protein directly.”
The research has been published in the Journal of Translational Medicine.