Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Dash of Lyme

Developing a new, improved blood test for Lyme disease

19 November 2019

Dash of Lyme

A bite from a stealthy tick often carries these spiral-shaped Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria (highlighted in red and green) into the blood stream causing Lyme disease. Infection brings a confusing range of symptoms, from muscular pain to a rash that moves outwards from the bite. Common laboratory tests on blood serum can miss these early stages, slowing down treatment and recovery. But help may come with a newly-discovered set of biomarkers – biological molecules that act like a fingerprint for the disease in chemical tests. Performing sensitive tests in a sort of portable microfluidic laboratory, may allow quick diagnosis of the early stages of Lyme disease, halting Borrelia burgdorferi in their spiralling tracks.

Written by John Ankers

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