Sunday, October 9, 2011

0 Article: Equine Borreliosis


Came across this article on equine Borreliosis, "The State of Lyme Disease".

If you are a horse owner, it's important to know the common symptoms of equine Lyme disease: shifting leg lameness, myalgia (muscle pain), dermal hypersensitivity, behavior changes, weight loss, uveitis, and neurological signs.

Sounds similar to the symptoms that people get with Lyme disease.

An interesting point to be made in this article is about the value of retesting in horses:
"It is also difficult to determine response to treatment with serological testing, because B. burgdorferi antibody levels are known to persist for years in humans and are also apparently long-lived in horses. Retesting is suggested four to six months after treatment to see if there is a decrease in serological values. This retesting can be questionable in determining response to treatment because horses are likely to be exposed and possibly reinfected post-treatment if living in areas of high tick density."
So, is the implication here that a decrease in values on a blood test is sign of progress against the disease?

It's true that if the horse is exposed and reinfected post-treatment in an endemic area that having shown a long-lived antibody response from a previous infection makes a new test result less useful. At the same time, a horse could have been reinfected, so then one has to look at a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms for a diagnosis. This is another thing which is similar for people with Lyme disease.

Having a more solid direct detection test which could distinguish between an active infection and past infection would be excellent. What does it take to create a test like this for Lyme disease?

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