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Lyme Disease

One infectious issued is Lyme disease, which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe. B burgdorferi's success rests in its ability to evade or hide from a host's immune system. Early detection and treatment is important before the bacteria disseminate throughout the body or cross the blood-brain-barrier. Patient symptoms, history, and serology are used to diagnose Lyme disease. A new approach (iSpotTM Lyme) is a new generation of in vitro diagnostic test for the detection of antigen-specific T cells that respond to stimulation by B. burgdorferi antigens. iSpot Lyme uses an enzyme-linked immunospot technology (ELISpot) to count B. burgdorferi-sensitized T cells. The test captures the level of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) secreted by the cells.

The immune system's response to Lyme disease both at onset and with persistent infection results in disturbances throughout the NEI Supersystem¬©. Initial Lyme exposure causes a Th1 immune response resulting in the characteristic bull's eye lesion and flu-like symptoms (headaches, muscle soreness, fever, and malaise). In late persistent infection, chronic T cell activation and inflammation result in irregular cytokine patterns affecting neurotransmitter release and alterations in hormones (via hypothalamic dysfunction). Persistent B burgdorferi infection leads to a variety of NEI Supersystem¬© alterations resulting in symptoms (profound fatigue, neuralgias, depression, fibromyalgia, and memory loss, panic attacks, anxiety, etc.) often contributed to other illness including a number of frank psychoses. Advanced testing for Lyme disease (T Cell/ cytokine) allows for root cause discovery and proper treatment of patients suffering from chronic disorders providing a savings in both healthcare dollars and an improvement in the quality of human lives.
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