Tuesday, October 25, 2011

0 News: New Molecular Test Could Detect Early Lyme Disease

The Guardian has written about a new molecular test using nanoparticles which was developed by Alessandra Luchini, of George Mason University, to initially detect cancers. The new test is being used in clinical trials to detect early Lyme disease - even if there is no rash present in the infected patient.

Excerpt that will be of interest to readers:
"Q: In years to come, is this something that could be available in hospitals? 
That's the hope we have. The first clinical trial is on the detection of Lyme disease. A fraction of patients get a skin rash but for those without the rash it is very difficult to diagnose. So with the particles we are able to capture the antigens that come from the spirochaete that is the causative agent of Lyme disease. If we see in the urine a piece of the bacteria of the spirochaete, we are sure that the patient has Lyme disease. We are gathering all the evidence and then we will need to go first for FDA approval before it is available in clinics. 
Q: How much earlier will you be able to detect Lyme disease? 
Lyme disease has a window of two to three weeks before seroconversion [production of antibodies in the host blood, indicating infection]. With our tests, we're able to detect it before seroconversion, because we're not looking for the antibodies, we just look for the spirochaete. I would say here, yes, by weeks, and earlier diagnosis would be beneficial for the prognosis."
Comment: One thing this does make me wonder about is how similar this test is to Temple Douglas' hydrogel nanoparticle test for early detection of Lyme disease. Maybe it's time to do a compare and contrast of patent application content?

MORE here at the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/23/bright-idea-nanoparticle-trap-cancer

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