NEW YORK — Researchers at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard Medical College have found a new way to diagnose the symptoms of Lyme disease.
“We are moving forward with a new, innovative treatment approach to Lyme disease, one that has the potential to significantly improve quality of life for people with Lyme disease,” said Dr. Roshan Ravi, the study’s senior author.
Lyme disease is a long-lasting illness that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that using a new test called the Lyme disease test, researchers could identify the disease in more than 95% of people with symptoms of the infection.
Researchers also found that people who had Lyme disease could test positive for the disease even if they had no symptoms.
Since the discovery, Lyme disease cases have increased more than 20-fold in the United States, and a new report estimates there are more than 60 million people in the country who have Lyme disease or are in close contact with someone who has it.
People who have been diagnosed with Lyme have been offered the option to take the new test to test for the bacteria in a controlled environment.
But many people refuse to take it.
They don’t want to risk the bacteria spreading and causing the disease.
Dr. Aruna R. Srivastava, the lead author of the study and the director of the Lyme Disease and Prevention Program at Harvard, said there are a lot of misconceptions about the test.
“We were able to show that a very small percentage of people actually have Lyme and are able to test positive,” she said.
“That’s a big win for the public.”
Scientists found that a specific gene in Borrelias cells is linked to inflammation and the ability to form white blood cells.
Scientists also discovered that the white blood cell response to Borreliosis is similar to the response seen in some types of arthritis.
When people with chronic Lyme disease and a genetic variant of the B. burgdorffi gene (BDNF) have been given the test, the BCDNF gene in those people has been switched on.
When those people have been exposed to the BorrelIA bacteria, they are less likely to develop Lyme disease symptoms, according to the study.
This genetic change causes the white cells to make antibodies against Borreliae, the bacteria.
B. burgdorfii bacteria can cause Lyme disease in people with multiple sclerosis, but people who have just one B. B. are less affected than people who don’t have B.B. In people with no B. Burgdorffs, the researchers found the immune system is also able to turn on the BcdNF gene.
“This makes it possible for the immune systems to recognize the presence of Borrelial strains of Borrellia and attack them in a similar way to that of people who are genetically susceptible to Lyme,” Dr. Sravastava said.
While the study was a success, it was not a perfect test.
Borrelia infection can cause symptoms that include fatigue, diarrhea and headaches.
In people who tested positive for Lyme disease who had a genetic mutation in the BbdNF gene, they were more likely to have symptoms of chronic Lyme.
Additionally, they had a higher risk of developing Lyme disease if they smoked or had liver disease.
These results were not surprising to Dr. Ayesha Bhatia, who was a co-author on the study, who is also a professor of medicine at Boston University.
“People have been reporting problems with Lyme for years,” Dr Bhati said.
“What surprised me is that it’s actually happening.”
In some ways, the research has been a huge success, as the study has given scientists a new tool to diagnose a disease that is difficult to test in the laboratory.
It’s also helped make the Lyme vaccine, which was introduced to the public in 2015, available to everyone.
For those who want to know if they have Lyme, Dr. Bhatie says you can ask your doctor about the BdNF gene mutation.
You can also call the National Lyme Disease Network, an online Lyme support group.
You can read more about the study here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316161739.htm#.
HjE2V1l2B9I The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.