Integrative Medicine Blog

LymeSeq: Accurate Lyme Diagnostic Tool on the Horizon

Nadine Stram Sunday, August 06, 2017
Lyme-seq-test-lyme-disease

LymeSeq, the new Lyme test, will detect the presence of multiple strains of Lyme bacteria, plus all major co-infections as well as non-Lyme causes of diseases like Influenza and Staph.

LymeSeq has been described as the “next generation” of Lyme diagnostics. It will be the only test that directly detects the presence of multiple strains of Lyme bacteria, plus all major co-infections as well as non-Lyme causes of diseases like Influenza and Staph. The test works by targeting, amplifying and sequencing specific segments of bacterial DNA present in the blood; amplified DNA is then compared to known bacterial sequences to make an accurate, reliable diagnosis. Developed by research scientists at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and funded by Focus on Lyme, LymeSeq represents a breakthrough in diagnosis and testing for Lyme disease.

By stark contrast, the current tests we use for Lyme check for just for a few strains and most markedly, are indirect, only testing the body’s immune system response to exposure and not for the actual presence of bacteria. These tests rely on the status of one’s immune system, which in a sick individual is likely compromised. The detection rate of the current testing is no better than a “coin toss” with only a 50% accuracy rate.

Despite this unreliability, our current testing is often used as the diagnostic tool to rule out Lyme in many clinical settings, leaving many patients undiagnosed, furthering the chances for developing chronic Lyme, and with it, debilitating symptoms. So often, patients testing negative but with continued sometimes serious symptoms, are told definitively (based on an unreliable test) that they do not have Lyme disease; consequently, pursued treatments are based on misdiagnosis, and missing the root cause altogether.

LymeSeq will be the game changer. When available, hopefully within the next year or so, LymeSeq will be a definitive tool for every emergency room and primary care physician to rule in or out Lyme and other tick borne illnesses.

The continued challenge will be how to treat, but at least with LymeSeq, treatment can be monitored for efficacy.

LymeSeq will continue to undergo clinical trials before becoming available to the general population. The trial which took place at the Stram Center on July 27th, is the first of several to help advance the process.

The second clinical trial, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept 6, 2017 became filled to capacity within days of its announcement, expressing the urgency people feel about achieving better diagnostic testing. Please continue to check our News and Announcements for the possibility of additional clinical trials.

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