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New Lyme disease test in clinical phase at Northern Virginia lab

A new Lyme disease test that's said to achieve greater accuracy in results is in the clinical phase at Internal Medicine of Northern Virginia in Reston.

The Lyme Antigen Test, which uses the Nanotrap technology, was developed jointly between George Mason University's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) and Ceres Nanosciences.

Officials with GMU, Ceres and state Del. David Ramadan (R-87th), who has worked closely with Mason on several initiatives, partnered in announcing the new test this month. Ramadan requested $125,000 in the state budget to support the initiative.

Northern Virginia suffers from one of the highest infection rates for Lyme disease in the country.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria people acquire after being bitten by ticks infected with the organism Borrelia burgdorferi. That organism is maintained in wild rodents, deer, other mammals and certain ticks, most commonly the black-legged (deer) tick.

People infected with Lyme – more than 30,000 new cases every year (this figure is debated) – often experience flu-like symptoms, including a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain.

One of the major challenges for doctors dealing with Lyme is the prevalence of inaccurate testing – an obstacle the new clinical study hopes to eliminate.

“Our test is completely different from past diagnostic tests for Lyme,” Dr. Lance Liotta, co-director of CAPMM and medical director of the Clinical Proteomics Lab at GMU, said in a statement. “Through our novel Nanotrap technology, we can achieve a high level of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy that has never been possible in the past.”

Ramadan said the state funding goes a long way to accelerate the “remarkable innovation” of the test – something Ceres CEO Ross Dunlap echoed.

“This funding allocation from the Virginia legislature will have an immediate impact,” Dunlap said. “ … It will leverage the significant investment made by Ceres Nanosciences already and provide much-needed funds to outfit Mason's lab with new equipment and resources that will directly support the expansion of the Lyme Antigen Test.”

Northern Virginia suffers with one of the highest rates of Lyme infection in the country.

The new test is currently available at Internal Medicine of Northern Virginia. Call 703-709-1119 for more information.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @TrevorBaratko.


This is certainly a step in the right direction.

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