Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Accelerating Lyme Disease Diagnostics

COVER STORIES: TAKING AIM AT LYME DISEASE

Accelerating Lyme Disease Diagnostics

New measurement technologies bring hope for early-stage detection
Department: Government & Policy
The Lyme spirochete bacterial is spread from ticks to human and is the cause of Lyme disease.
 
DISEASE AGENT
B. burgdorferi, spirochetal bacteria that cause Lyme disease, are difficult to detect directly because only a small number are present in a patient’s blood. The average length of the bacterium is 20–30 ┬Ám.
Credit: Janice Haney Carr/CDC

When Tracy Lambeth woke up one day with extreme back pain, she brushed it off as a pulled muscle. But after several weeks, the pain did not go away. She was tested for Lyme disease, even though she did not have a bull’s-eye rash—a common sign of the illness—or any recollection of a tick biting her. The results were negative. Tracy, then 26 and living in Pennsylvania, was told she had fibromyalgia and was sent home without any treatment.

One-and-a-half years later, Tracy was bitten by a tick and developed a bull’s-eye rash on the back of her knee. She was hospitalized for four days. “We think I had the bacteria in my system, and this next tick bite just made everything worse,” she says.

Read rest of story: http://cen.acs.org/articles/91/i25/Accelerating-Lyme-Disease-Diagnostics.html

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