A new tool that can detect Lyme disease in a person within 15 minutes could change how necessary tests are carried out by patients to diagnose the disease.
Existing tests for the diagnosis of Lyme disease are a complex two-tier system carried out solely by trained laboratory personnel, which takes different hours, or even days. But a team of biomedical engineers at Columbia University announced Friday that a test like performance has developed, but without the laboratory or waiting times.
The researchers found out when they tested samples from Lyme disease peoplethe new method could detect the disease in early stage samples, since the sensitivity of the instrument was much higher than the two-tier system when antibodies peak in the first few weeks of infection.
The results, published in Friday's Journal of Clinical Microbiology, said that while the tool needs refinement, scientists are enthusiastic that the simple quick test could be used in the doctor's offices.
"This means that our test could be used directly in a doctor's office, which means that samples need to be sent to a laboratory that needs a few hours, unlike days, to get test results," The research Sam Sia said.
More than 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, due to the grip of infected ixodes (usually called the deer tick). If lwithout treatment, the disease can cause serious neurologic, cardiac and rheumatoid difficulties.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Control recommend the two-tier testing system, but it supports the development of new tests.
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