Lyme disease is a debilitating illness that is incredibly difficult to diagnose. Many sufferers go for years, undiagnosed with a mixture of unexplained symptoms. The current test to detect the infection is a two-step process that is only effective in diagnosing about half of Lyme disease patients. This traditional approach detects specific markers that indicate that the immune system is actively engaged.
Researchers from New York Medical College are hoping to change this traditional approach to a more modern one that detects the genetic changes in the body that happen before an immune system mounts a response. The plan is to detect and amplify traces of the DNA of the Lyme disease bacteria in the bloodstream sooner after infection.
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics, and the faster they are given after infection, the quicker they can take effect. Due to this, early detection is essential, and it is hoped this new technique will be able to detect Lyme bacteria earlier, give patients a clear diagnosis and help them recover must faster.
Source: Science News
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