For researchers at George Mason University, it's been three years in the making. "It makes us feel very proud, but it also breaks your heart to hear about patients who have not been diagnosed early on, who then got more and more symptoms and suffered," George Mason University Professor, Lance Liotta said.
According to Liotta, when it comes to Lyme Disease, early detection is key. "Too often we miss the first diagnosis, and that's because the testing for Lyme Disease is not very accurate," Liotta said. Now, his team is able to test for the disease right after the tick bite, sometimes before any symptoms. Currently, Liotta said, they do it primarily through urine tests.
"The problem is when you try to diagnose a disease early, you have very faint biomarkers, they are very low abundance and it's very hard to catch them," George Mason University Associate Professor, Alessandra Luchini said. A solution they're using makes those biomarkers much easier to detect. The solution is made up of billions of particles that capture pieces of the Lyme bacteria.
The group currently conducts hundreds of the tests each month, that they are hoping to get FDA approved. They urge anyone who is interested in the test to consult with their doctor.