Program Schedule

Next Generation Diagnostic Test for Lyme Disease

Session: Poster Abstract Session: Diagnostic Microbiology: Bacterial Infections
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Room: The Pennsylvania Convention Center: IDExpo Hall BC
  • PosterB 2014 IDSA[1].pdf (330.6 kB)
  • Background: Current serodiagnostic tests for Lyme disease lack sensitivity and specificity for detecting B. burgdorferi infection in the early stages of the disease. To address these deficiencies, we fabricated a recombinant chimer- based diagnostic assay for Lyme disease using highly antigenic Borrelia proteins that we have identified in multiple genospecies of Borrelia spp. Methods: Using protein arrays, we identified 48 key antigenic proteins from the B. burgdorferi strains that we used to construct 16 sets of chimeric proteins each containing three of the Borrelia antigens. Recombinant proteins were printed onto nitrocellulose-coated FAST glass slides. Proteome chips were probed with serum from 54 patients with early untreated Lyme disease. Results: Although there were sample-specific responses, there was a subset of proteins recognized in common by a majority of the sera. The majority of sera recognized 9 highly antigenic Borrelia chimeras using IgM secondary antibody and 7 chimeras using IgG secondary antibody for a total of 11 individual proteins. Furthermore, each of these 11 chimeric antigens had a specificity of 99% using normal sera and sera from patients with other chronic infections or autoimmune diseases. The sensitivity of our protein array was 80% with IgM + IgG secondary antibody for the early untreated Lyme sera. In comparison, the sensitivity was 44% for standard 2-tiered testing for these same early Lyme patients. Thus, the sensitivity of our assay far exceeds that of commercially available Lyme disease assays in patients in the early stages of the disease Among the 52 healthy controls from areas in which Lyme disease is endemic, none had positive results with our assay. For the potential cross reactive patients 11 of 83 samples had positive IgM or IgG antibody responses in our assay. Thus, the overall specificity for the array assay was 100% for normal controls and 87% in Sick-non-Lyme patients. Conclusion: Given these exciting results, we are now poised to develop a standardized sensitive and specific single-tier Lyme disease assay of recombinant chimeric Borrelia proteins that will potentially have a wide range of coverage and specificity against Lyme disease.
    Benjamin Luft, MD, Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY


    B. Luft, None

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