Overcoming the Challenges of Lyme Disease Diagnosis: The Role of Phage-based Testing

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Ying Jia Tatjana Mijatovic Louis Teulières Martha Clokie Jinyu Shan


Tick-borne diseases are a growing concern worldwide, affecting both human and animal populations. Ticks are known to harbour a wide range of pathogens and are considered one of the most important vectors of diseases. Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, is the most common tick-borne disease in the US and Europe. However, accurate diagnosis of Lyme disease can be challenging due to the complex immune evasion strategies employed by Borrelia species and the limitations of existing diagnostic tests. To address this issue, researchers are exploring novel approaches, including the use of bacteriophages as diagnostic tools. Bacteriophages are highly specific and offer advantages over traditional methods for detecting bacteria, including Borrelia. In particular, the use of multicopy bacteriophages as molecular markers for Borrelia detection is a promising approach that may provide greater sensitivity than targeting single-copy bacterial genes. Nonetheless, the task of identifying trace amounts of bacteriophages in blood samples necessitates attention, and scientists are devising innovative techniques to surmount this hurdle. In summary, employing bacteriophages as a diagnostic tool for Lyme disease, by specifically targeting free circulating bacteriophages in blood samples, offers significant potential for enhancing patient outcomes and public health. However, additional rigorous scientific validation is required to definitively ascertain the efficacy and accuracy of using a phage-based methodology for detecting Borrelia in blood samples.

Keywords: Tick-borne diseases, Lyme disease, Diagnostic methods, Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Bacteriophages (phages), Borrelia, Detection limit

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How to Cite
JIA, Ying et al. Overcoming the Challenges of Lyme Disease Diagnosis: The Role of Phage-based Testing. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 11, nov. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/4650>. Date accessed: 13 apr. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v11i11.4650.
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