|sequencing of dna|
New DNA Diagnostic Test For Lyme Disease May Have Merit
Milford Hospital in Massachusetts has been working for over a year on a new type of diagnostic test for Lyme disease using sequencing of dna rather than DNA nesting.
We have all heard of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method of Lyme testing which is considered a "DNA nesting" test method which detects a genomic DNA of the Lyme disease-causing spirochete in the blood.
|dna sequencing technology|
There are many problems with the PCR test but the largest being (in my opinion) that by the time a person is diagnosed by the ELIZA antibody test and then the western blot, a PCR will likely be negative due to the time it takes for the spirochetes to disseminate into the victim's body.
If however, this new sequencing of dna test could replace the ELIZA test and be administered immediately, we would have a much better chance of diagnosing Lyme early, treating it early and reducing the number of missed cases that end up as debilitating chronic cases.
Excitement is growing around this new test for several reasons.
First, in the world of genetic testing, sequencing of dna is accepted as the gold standard for molecular identification wheras the ELIZA test is considered to miss as many as 50 - 75% of those who are infected.
Secondly, at a time where battle lines have been clearly drawn in the medical sands of research and practice, the staff and research team under Dr Lee, a pathologist at Milford Hospital (Milford, CT), Dr. Jay Walshon, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Milford Hospital, and Dr. Jessie Williams, of the Milford Hospital Walk-in Urgent Care Center are preparing another report to summarize their research experience.
Perhaps at another time this would not be remarkable, but to see that these papers are being published can give us all hope that eventually research will over-run prejudice and give the doctors who are caught in the crossfire, wanting to treat their patients who are suffering so severely with chronic Lyme - but feel their hands are tied by the harsh and restrictive language of the IDSA.
|dna sequencing diagram|
I believe most of our doctors do care and truly want to help but feel they are backed up against the wall given the hostility of the existing argument.
So we will keep a watch out for the next press release from Milford Hospital.
Meanwhile, if you or someone you know believes they may have contracted Lyme disease recently, this new test is being used right now in Milford.
The physicians at the Milford Hospital Emergency Center and Walk-in Urgent Care Center, who see about 40,000 patients a year, usually order the traditional antibody testing and the new DNA test for patients presenting with Lyme disease-like symptoms. Evidently, most insurance companies except Aetna will pay for the test.