Bill Gates: Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist, and Lyme Disease diagnostic testing enthusiast. Previously, on the Peer Health blog, we’ve talked about the need for a proper test for Lyme Disease detection. It seems that Bill and Melinda Gates share these concerns, as they’ve just donated over $1 million to, Ceres Nanosciences, a technology company attempting to this test.
Lyme Disease is transmitted by a tick bite and is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. There are five known subspecies of the bacteria, over 100 different strains in the United States, and 300 worldwide. The standard Lyme Disease diagnostic test can only test for one strain. Furthermore, the most common tests are indirect, testing the bodies antibody response to the infection, rather than the infection itself. And, due to the test only having an estimated sensitivity of 65%, false negative results are frequent.
Living with Lyme is already debilitating, the stress of receiving an accurate diagnosis should not add to this. To this point, researchers are developing new tests to detect the condition.
A diagnostics company in Virginia, Ceres Nanosciences, has developed a urine-based Nanotrap Lyme Antigen test. The test can not only be used to detect early stages of Lyme Disease but other diseases like Ebola and Tuberculosis.
The test uses nanotrap technology, a concept created at George Mason University. Previous Lyme Disease urine tests have been unsuccessful due to an inability to detect the Lyme antigen the infection it produces in the urine. But, localized and concentrated nanotrap technology increases the sensitivity of Lyme antigen detection which makes it easier to detect and diagnose
For a market release of the test, the company needs to generate $9 million worth of funds. The funding will be used to gain FDA approval.
If this test was successful, it would certainly ease the lives of future Lyme Disease patients. Early detection of the condition is crucial as the longer a patient lives without treatment, the greater the chances of the condition becoming chronic.
A life with Lyme Disease is difficult, but suffering alone is worse. Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. The Peer Health community is coming soon and we want you to be the first to know. Sign up for our newsletter today.