New test for the early detection of Lyme borreliosis

scientists from the Medical University of Vienna has succeeded in developing a new test for the early detection of Lyme borreliosis. This provides information about a disease more quickly. Thus, physicians might advise the patient to an effective therapy. The MedUni Vienna has informed the current state of research in a recent press release.

Scientists have succeeded in developing a new test, which can detect infection with Borrelia more quickly and reliably.(Image: Ingo Sch./ scientists have succeeded in developing a new test that can detect infection more quickly and reliably by Borrelia.(Image: Ingo Sch./

New test detects current infections faster and thus facilitates better treatment
The medical staff of the Infection Immunology Working Group of the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology of MedUni Vienna are working on this issuethe development of a new test for the early detection of Lyme borreliosis. All the research took place within the framework of the EU project "ID-Lyme".The new test will help to recognize a present infection better, the doctors say. This means that healthy persons with Borrelia antibodies in the blood need not be treated with antibiotics unnecessarily and the right therapeutic steps can be initiated faster in patients, explains the experts. Current antibody tests require at least three to four weeks after infection to achieve a meaningful result.

Today's studies often misinterpret pure antibody reactions
Hannes Stockinger, Head of the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology and the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology of MedUni Vienna, explains in the current press release that the current standard laboratory examination unfortunately oftenis not able to detect the early current infection with borrelia."In addition, with the current tests, a pure antibody response is often interpreted as an infection and treated with antibiotics, although this is not necessary at all because it is a long-standing or healed infection," continues Stockinger, Gerold Stanek from the MedUni Vienna adds that not every tick bite must lead to a disease and not every positive bortrelientest is a disease. This is also "the trickery" of Borrelia. The researcher is considered to be one of the pioneers in domestic Borrelia research. According to the expert, "many hunters, who naturally live more often in forest and meadow, are nucleus-like, although they have Borrelia antibodies, that is,"

The new test is intended to enable a more accurate and earlier diagnosis
The previous test analyzes only a small part of the human immune system. The test only examines the so-called B-cells, but not the T-cells, the doctors say. These are necessary as helper cells for combating the infection. The activity of the cells point to the presence of an infection, explained the experts of MedUni Vienna further. Therefore, the doctors from Vienna are working to develop the world's first "point-of-care" test. This would then make it possible to detect current infections and to initiate the correct treatment of the patients. The so-called "Ixodes-Kit" test is due to be released this fall, the medics of MedUni Vienna in the current press release. The term Ixodes is the scientific term for shield ticks.

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Climate warming creates the best conditions for ticks
In Central Europe and the Scandinavian countries, a so-called Lyme borreliosis is particularly common. The spread area continues to expand further northwards, the experts say. This process is fueled by climate warming. It should also be noted that ticks are becoming more and more active. For example, there is currently a very good climate for ticks in Austria, says Stanek."Ticks become active when the soil temperature rises to around 7 degrees Celsius, which is now the case in spring," says the expert.

Still no possibility to vaccinate against borreliosis
Unlike for FSME viruses, which are also spread over a tick bite, there is currently no possibility to vaccinate against borreliosis. Alone in Austria, about 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year after a tick bite, say the ex-extenders of the MedUni Vienna. It can be roughly stated that about every fourth tick carries borrelia in itself. As a sure sign of an infection with Lyme borrelia infected with ticks, a hurricane occurs. However, this only occurs in about one-third of all patients, the researchers warn. If a bacterial infection can not be detected at an early stage, severe diseases can be triggered. These range from joint inflammation to very painful infections of the nerve roots. Possible consequences of this are paralysis or even an occurring memory loss, say the experts.

Separate study investigates the entire pathogen spectrum in ticks
In general, ticks carry many other pathogens. Not only Lyme borrelia and the so-called FSME virus are transmitted to humans, also rickettsiae, Babesia, Anaplasms, Francisella tularensis, Bartonella and other pathogens are transferred from the tick to us, the medical experts explain. Another research project of the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology at the MedUni Vienna is currently investigating the entire pathogen spectrum in ticks, the scientists say. The researchers accompany affected patients in their diagnosis and subsequent therapy. The study director Mateusz Markowicz invites people with tick bites to participate in the study and to come with their ticks to the institute's ambulance.

Researchers create a comprehensive network of around 80 research groups
A total of five research clusters from MedUni Vienna are involved in the investigations. These research clusters include medical imaging, cancer research / oncology, cardiovascular medicine, medical neurosciences and immunology. The research on the topics ticks and borreliosis falls within the cluster for immunology, explain the scientists. The Medical University of Vienna is working with great dedication to resolving the eminent questions within immunology, and is known worldwide for its top research. The scientists attempted to foster internal research cooperation in this area. For this reason, the MedUni Vienna Research Cluster( Immunology Research Cluster - IRC) has been created, which is an interdisciplinary network of around 80 research groups. Its main focus is allergy, inflammation and infection. With their concentrated research, the physicians hope to be able to develop new prophylactic and therapeutic approaches as well as diagnostic concepts for the treatment of immunological and other inflammatory diseases.(as)

New Borreliosis Test Is Faster And Reliable
researchers have developed a new test that can detect an infection by Borrelia at an early stage. In this way, patients can be detected more quickly, in order to initiate the appropriate therapeutic steps. The test could be put to clinical use later this fall.

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